Stillwater News Press

Local News

August 27, 2011

New Stillwater visitor's center opens this week

STILLWATER, Okla. — Stillwater’s first official visitors center will open its doors Thursday.

The 3,600-square-foot building on West Sixth Street will serve as the office for the Stillwater Convention and Visitors Bureau, which previously was housed in the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce building on South Main Street.

Construction has been complete for some time, said Cristy Morrison, CVB executive director, but her staff waited until September to ensure the transition went smoothly for both groups.

The CVB board held its first meeting at the new office Wednesday. So far, Morrison said everyone has been extremely complimentary about the new location, which was formerly the Shalimar Taste of India before building owner Jim Griffith struck a deal with the city to remodel the structure as a visitor’s center and CVB office.

“When you renovate a building, you can normally still some resemblance,” Morrison said, before board member Steve Maison insisted that, “No, this doesn’t look anything like it did before.”

Ann Caine, Stillwater Schools superintendent and CVB board chairwoman, was also quick to compliment the project.

“Everyone did a good job of getting it pulled together,” she said. “It doesn’t look anything like a restaurant anymore.”

Morrison invited community groups to hold meetings last week at the visitor’s center so she could explain how the project was financed.  Both the CVB and the project are funed entirely by hotel tax dollars, she said, rather than city money.

“We are funded with tax dollars, but not necessarily Stillwater tax dollars,” Maison said.

There will be no formal opening ceremony or tour, Morrison said, at least not immediately. There is still donated artwork, she said, that needs displayed before holding anything official. Morrison is also working on getting autographed photos featuring famous Red Dirt bands and Oklahoma State University athletes for display.

“We want truly every single thing in this building to promote Stillwater,” she said.

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