Submitted by LESI
SANDUSKY – Following an extensive evaluation process, on March 5, the Board of Trustees for the Erie County Visitors & Convention Bureau voted to move the Erie County Welcome Center operations currently at 4424 Milan Road/US 250 to a new location at 125 E. Water St. in downtown Sandusky.
Visitors Bureau officials pointed out that while their current location on Milan Road served them well for many years, the potential for increased foot traffic, competitive financial details and being part of the continuing growth of our county seat, made downtown Sandusky a compelling consideration in the Board’s discussions.
With the amount of foot traffic already in and around the vicinity of 125 E. Water St., the Shores & Islands team expects increased visitation to the new Welcome Center and better engagement opportunities between its experienced staff and visitors to the area.
“We are excited about the opportunities this new location will provide us to serve visitors to the region,” said Larry Fletcher, Lake Erie Shores & Islands President. “This move is consistent with our organization’s long-range strategic plan and our mission to grow the region’s tourism economy through collaborative promotion that increases visitation and makes Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands the ideal place to play, live and work.”
The Water Street space is currently unimproved and will therefore require construction that will begin shortly with the expectation of completion by the end of the year. The building owner, Renaissance Too LLC, received a recommendation from the Sandusky Economic Development Incentive Committee for a redevelopment grant to assist in funding building rehabilitation.
The Sandusky City Commission will hear a request to approve these funds at their March 26 meeting. Renaissance Too will also apply for Historic Tax Credits from the State of Ohio. “The Sandusky 2018 Bicentennial Vision Plan specifically called for building downtown Sandusky into a major destination point for locals and visitors,” said Sandusky City Manager Eric Wobser. “Lake Erie Shores & Islands’ decision to move its Welcome Center into the heart of downtown is a critical step forward in achieving that goal and will deepen an already strong partnership between the city and the region’s champion for destination marketing.”