Visitor center on wheels rolls out welcome mat to lake area
Mar. 11, 2018
GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A new visitor center showcasing one of Georgia's biggest tourist destinations can be hauled anywhere it's needed since it's built atop four rubber tires.
The Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau is preparing to take its mobile visitor center on the road this year, The Times reported .
"This gives us a way to go where the people are, both locally and regionally," said the group's president, Stacey Dickson.
"It's like a food truck for information," she said.
The group has been working on designs — including one of a vintage postcard — that will wrap the vehicle, the Gainesville newspaper reported.
The trend nationally "is closing the brick-and-mortar centers and going mobile in a variety of different ways," Dickson said.
The 20-foot by 8-foot trailer can be towed from event to event, transporting brochures and maps. The vehicle can be used in a number of settings and venues, such as serving drinks and popcorn at outdoor movies, the newspaper reported.
Along with the printed materials, officials plan to include some technology such as an old-school View-Master where visitors click through pictures on a device held up to their eyes.
To capture a younger audience, including millennials, "we're in the process of developing some 360-degree videos that people can view when they're here and also online," Dickson said. "And one of the features we'll be adding is a charging station."
Gainesville native Ansley Rochester, a University of South Carolina freshman who plans to work as an intern at the mobile center this summer, is looking forward to the experience. The public relations major will work on the social media and website aspects "to try to attract people closer to my age, but also, everyone."
The mobile visitor center "is a great concept, especially for people my age," Rochester said. "With phones and technology, it's less likely they would drop by the brick-and-mortar centers."
Lake Lanier is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) northeast of Atlanta.
Information from: The Times, http://www.gainesvilletimes.com