Michigan Welcomes Travelers at the New Monroe Welcome Center

10,000 Square Foot Facility to Showcase Michigan Travel

LANSING, Mich., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ — Travel Michigan and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will celebrate the grand opening of the Monroe Welcome Center (Northbound I-75 at the 10 Mile Marker), at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 14, 2005. Kirk Steudle, Chief Deputy Director of MDOT, will be the master of ceremonies and keynote speaker at the reopening event. A number of state and local dignitaries have been invited.

The new 10,000 square foot facility is designed to help market the state as a travel destination, as well as provide all travelers with a safe and relaxing oasis. The Monroe Welcome Center, one of 13 Welcome Centers located throughout the state, is expected to welcome 2 million visitors annually. Currently, over nine million visitors stop into one or more of the 13 Michigan Welcome Centers.

“The Monroe Welcome Center will promote Michigan to first time visitors as well as Michigan residents,” commented George Zimmermann, senior vice president of Travel Michigan. “The Monroe Welcome Center is a convenient location to greet visitors traveling into Michigan from the surrounding states.”

“The new Monroe Welcome Center is further evidence of the successful multi-year partnership with MDOT and Travel Michigan,” said Kirk Steudle. “This partnership has done an excellent job providing a wide range of services to both tourists and Michigan motorists.”

The Monroe Welcome Center has been closed since 2004 to allow for the reconstruction and expansion of the new facility. Other features of the new facility include an accessible playground (to be open Summer 2006), and a unique rock garden, with rocks representing the different geographic regions of the state.

From Ironwood to Sault Ste. Marie to Coldwater and New Buffalo, travel counselors are on hand at the Michigan Welcome Centers with a wealth of knowledge on Michigan’s travel offerings. In addition, each Welcome Center carries an abundance of travel brochures, maps and guidebooks – all free of charge! The travel counselors can even help make hotel or campground reservations, offer safety tips and weather information, and advise on where to expect road construction.

Travel Michigan, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, is the State of Michigan’s official agency for the promotion of tourism. Travel Michigan markets the state’s tourism industry and provides valuable visitor information services.

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