Blythewood Visitor Center moved to Town Hall

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood Visitor Center has a new home – in the lobby of Blythewood Town Hall.

“Since funding for the Visitor Center is no longer provided to the Blythewood Chamber of Commerce after Dec. 31, we have moved the source of our information for visitors from the Chamber to the Town Hall,” Mayor J. Michael Ross told the Voice on Tuesday.

“We have all sorts of information about Blythewood and our surrounding area for people who stop in and are looking for something,” Ross said. “We have information about our hotels, our businesses, our local events, and we always have someone here to help visitors find what they’re looking for.”

Ross said the town government no longer recognizes or funds another physical location as a Visitors’ Center. To that end, Council voted last June to defund the Blythewood Visitor Center as of Jan. 1, 2019.

The vote to defund came after a six-month investigation by The Voice that called into question how the Chamber spent the $18,500 accommodation award provided by Council each year to fund the Visitor’s Center.

After the Chamber failed to produce satisfactory accounting documentation for how the funds were spent, citizens increasingly called on Council to order an audit of the Chamber’s books. Council stopped short of a full investigation/audit of the Chamber’s funds, choosing instead to no longer fund the Chamber to operate the Visitors Center.

“Since we have brought the Center in house,” Ross said, “we probably have more visitors than the Chamber had and we’re not spending $18,000. So many come here to sign up for their water service and other reasons. So it’s a great opportunity for us to let them know other things about the town,” he said.

“The park is a big draw over here, plus our website certainly directs visitors here and to the park,” Ross said. “And the signage at the bridge over I-77 still points this way,” he said, laughing. “I think it’s all working out very well for us and for the town’s visitors.”

Town Hall is located at 171 Langford Road. For more information about the Visitor’s Center, call 803-754-0501.

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