The Newton Convention & Visitors Bureau will be opening a Newton Visitor Center later this summer in the former car dealership east of Hy-Vee at 300 E. 17th St. S. that was recently purchased and being renovated by Hawkeye Stages, an Iowa-based charter motorcoach company.
"It's all about visitors and visibility," said Linda Bacon, executive director of the Newton CVB. "It is imperative for visitors to have easy access to us and our services as we continue to promote the community."
The Newton CVB, currently located in a shared downtown office building with the Chamber of Commerce, will maintain all of its current services as a convention and visitors bureau and open the new visitor center within the shared building with Hawkeye Stages.
The decision to move was driven by visitor comments on the difficulties in finding them in their current location.
"We will be able to guide visitors more easily to attractions, shopping, businesses, the downtown square, restaurants and more across the entire community without them having to search us out first; and have the added advantage of being housed with a motorcoach business," Bacon said.
Over the past several years, the Newton CVB has been working hard to gain immediate visibility and recognition of where Newton is located for travelers and visitors. In early 2011, the organization changed its logo to show visitors seeing its marketing ads or visit the web site exactly where Newton sits along Interstate 80.
"Our mission is to promote the community," Bacon said. "The CVB Board and I all believe the best way for us to serve our community is by better serving our visitors and guests and keeping up with the ever-evolving visitor trends."
Newton City Council member Mike Hansen lauded the opening of the new visitor center.
"One of the primary goals of the CVB was to open a Newton Visitor Center to provide greater visibility and service to the visitors in our community," he said. "I congratulate Linda and the CVB board members on achieving their goal and wish them continued success providing their valued service on behalf of the Newton community."
The Newton CVB will release additional information on the visitor center at its new location in the coming weeks. Once settled at the new location, the Newton CVB will co-host a grand opening with Hawkeye Stages in their new facility in Newton.