After meeting with organizers of the Pacific Welcome Center a delegation of Pacific Area Chamber of Commerce directors said they would ask the full board to invest in the visitor section of the new center.
The May 14 meeting, held at Bank Star, was the first of a series of talks between the Welcome Center committee and Chamber of Commerce on how best to display Pacific as a hub of attractions and activities.
Mike Miner, Chamber president, and Tim Baker, a Chamber board member, said they would ask the full board to fund one crucial fixture in the new Welcome Center, the center-island and map of Pacific that incorporates an operating HO gauge train.
“I absolutely believe the Chamber of Commerce should step up and provide this center island,” Baker said.
Although the full board of directors had not seen a draft of the Welcome Center business plan or the description of the map stand, Baker said he felt confident they would want the Chamber to participate in the Welcome Center.
The city has purchased the former Clarence Mayle house on East Osage to house a combination welcome center and Meramec Valley Genealogical and Historical Museum.
Mayor Herb Adams convened the Welcome Center committee to define the mission and operations of the building.
“We want to show Pacific and its immediate neighbors in the best possible light,” Adams said. “We want a welcome center that welcomes not only tourists but new residents and visitors who might buy a home or locate a business here.”
Brian Knight and Pauline Masson represented the Welcome Center in the discussion. Miner, Baker, Kopsky and Kim Barfield represented the Chamber of Commerce.
Pacific as a destination is the story of all facets of the community, Adams said. People who walk into the Welcome Center should walk away with a new agenda — an agenda of everything they can do here.
“They may just be looking for a map for a river access, but we can show them the whole scope of outdoor activities at our fingertips,” Adams said.
The Welcome Center is an ongoing investment in the community that can be funded in part with a portion of the tourism tax collected through the city’s two hotels.
As a result the theme of the welcome center is defining Pacific as a destination hub offering access to scores of day trips and local activities.
Kopsky said opening the visitor information center was an opportunity for all the civic organizations to come together and develop a simple slogan describing Pacific as a good place to visit, which would be used by everyone.
The slogan would appear on letterheads, posters, and web pages.
“Every civic group in the city should be working on this,” Kopsky said. “We should all have the same slogan. We have our own individual logos but we should have the same slogan.”