Would New Visitors Center=Tourist Appeal?
Much of the tourist traffic on Interstate 25 passes Casper by. A report on our local tourist economy suggests a new, well placed visitor's center could change that. Jim Bruce of, Bruce Facility Planning Consultants, says the current location of Casper's Visitor's Center is a big reason why it under performs.
"It's not very easy to get to from the express way. It's not an impressive facility. Its not easy to see. I'm mean, driving to it today from my hotel, you don't really see it until you're right on top of it."
Bruce's firm has been hired by the Casper Chamber of Commerce to develop a feasibility plan that would presumably end in the design and construction of a new facility. In his presentation to city council this week, he recognized that Casper may not be a major draw, but the city itself he says has a lot to offer the short term visitor.
"The statistics suggest that the flow of tourists up I-25, we think that they are, on the whole, fairly well educated, solidly middle class kinds of folks, that have some money to spend."
Bruce says those statistics also indicate that with proper use of a visitor's center, that tourist traffic and their dollars can be directed here, especially, he says, by playing to the over 50 percent of travelers who build their trip spontaneously. He says that's where a well placed visitor's center can make a difference.