(Neb)-Kimball Co May Close I-80 Welcome Center
KIMBALL - Kimball County Tourism Director Jessica Rocha is appearing before the county commissioners today to make a plea against closing the High Point Welcome Center on Interstate 80 at the Kimball west exit.
State Tourism Director John Ricks and Scotts Bluff County Tourism Director Brenda Leisy are expected to join in the plea.
Rocha, a Chadron State College alum who became tourism director last year, says she's been told budgetary issues may force the county to close the center by the end of December, maybe sooner.
Rocha told KNEB News that closing the Welcome Center would have a negative impact on visitor spending in the county, the Panhandle, and the state because without it, the first manned visitor center on I-80 eastbound would be at Ogallala.
Rocha said the location at Kimball is ideal to send visitors to attractions throughout the Panhandle including Chimney Rock, Legacy of the Plains Museum, Agate Fossil Beds, Toadstool Park and Carhenge.
When the High Point Center opened in 2013, a number of Panhandle counties, including Dawes, agreed to help fund it and Scotts Bluff and Morrill still do. Rocha wants the commissioners to give her time to find additional resources to help keep it open.
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