New Downtown Visitors Center Planned
County entities are collaborating to create a new visitors center to provide information on local attractions and events.
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, in cooperation with the Gebbie Foundation, will soon be opening a new visitors center at 300 N. Main St. in Jamestown.
Todd Tranum, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said the building will still continue to be a location for the county chamber, but space will also be transformed into the new visitors center, with both chamber and visitors bureau staff working together to provide people information. He said no specific date has been set for when the visitors center will open.
“There will be access to public restrooms and access to information about the area,” he said. “The chamber is excited to play a role in partnership with the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, a partnership supported by the Gebbie Foundation. This has been something talked about over a period of time.”
Andrew Nixon, Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau president and CEO, said talks about the visitors bureau and chamber teaming up on a visitor center predate the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The main focus is to make sure there is enough information through brochures at that location, so when people come to Jamestown they are able to access things to see and do in the area,” he said. “Right now, there will be three brochure racks in there, with wall display units. We’re hoping in the future, depending on funding, to put in an electric display screen that would be in the window, so people walking by can see information on the screen about events and attractions in the area.”
Nixon said the visitors bureau, which is headquartered at the Chautauqua Institution, has been looking to provide more information about events and attractions throughout the county. He said visitor bureau officials are also looking to partner with the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield, as well.
“We want to leverage good existing locations in specific areas where visitors will be stopping,” he said. “The chamber has a good location in the heart of downtown Jamestown, which is equal distance from the Reg Lenna and Jackson Center on one side and the National Comedy Center and ice arena on the other.”
Greg Edwards, Gebbie Foundation CEO, said the Gebbie Foundation, which owns the building, is happy to assist the chamber and visitors bureau partner on this new venture to provide tourist and local residents the information they need to enjoy their time in Jamestown.
“We’re happy to participate with a team of people looking to advance things in the city of Jamestown and this location will add to what is already great about the city,” he said. “The idea here is for people to meet with professionals whose business it is to give them information about local business and attractions. It’s really going to advance the efficiency of the work they do. “