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Visitor's bureau moves across I-80Tell North Platte what you think
 
Photo by George Lauby
The visitors' bureau plans to be operating in this building by Oct. 1.
Photo by George Lauby
Clarine Eickhoff
Photo by George Lauby
CVB board member Jack Morris and Executive Director Lisa Burke.
Photo by George Lauby
Wider view of CVB's new building
Photo by George Lauby
Current CVB location, near Eugene and Willow

The Lincoln County Visitor’s Bureau will move into a new, more visible location on North Platte’s main I-80 interchange.

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The county commissioners signed a 10-year lease Monday with KS Plus, Inc., to put the visitor’s bureau in a building on the northeast corner of the interchange

The buiilding is the former home of a gas station, convenience store and Subway sandwich shop. It has been empty since July 1.

The visitor’s bureau aims to boost tourism and provide tourists with lots of information about things to do and see in Lincoln County.

The bureau is now on the other side of the interchange, but must move because a new building is slated to be built there for Hobby Lobby.

The bureau staff hopes to be moved into their new offices by October, board member Clarine Eickhoff said.

The rent will be $3,500 a month – about $500 more a month the current rent.

 Eickhoff told the Bulletin that is less than the market rate.

“Other options were double the rent,” she said.

The new, more modern building also has a large parking lot for tourists driving RVs. The inside of the building will be remodeled for offices. A new sign will be prominent, advising motorists of places to go in North Platte.  

The vision for the property will take time to implement, visitor’s bureau executive director Lisa Burke told the commissioners.

Eickhoff said the visitor’s bureau looked at moving to the old Village Inn, which is being remodeled into new offices for Gateway Realty.

This location provides more room and the advantages of their own building.

County Commissioner Joe Hewgley, who represents the county on the visitor’s bureau board, said preliminary work on this deal began in October.

It will be the fourth move for the bureau in six years.

In 2008, the bureau moved from a converted house at C and Dewey to a former real estate office at Francis and Dewey near the Howard Johnson’s Inn.

But that building was demolished in 2012 to make way for a drive up bank for First National Bank. The bureau moved south of I-80 into its current location -- a red building that is also home to Red Roof Antiques, and once was home to K-Mart.

The red building will be demolished soon, to make way for Hobby Lobby, which hopes to open next year.

The visitor’s bureau once had plans for its own building. In 2007, plans were drawn for a $1 million tourism center next to the 20th Century Veteran’s Memorial on the southeast corner of the I-80 interchange, but the plan did not materialize.

The visitor’s bureau receives funds from taxes on hotel and motel rooms.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 7/29/2014
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