CVB will relocate to downtown Stevens Point

Metro Wire Staff

The Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau on Thursday announced plans to move its Visitor Center and administrative offices to downtown Stevens Point.

The move, planned for later this year, is part of an agreement with Sentry, giving the CVB the “opportunity to create a space to better address the needs of the local travel industry and its visitors for decades to come,” according to a news release.

The new space will be located at 1105 Main Street Suite A, the former location of Clay Corner Studio, and in the same building as the Sentry IT Co-op. The build-out for the new location will begin this month, the news release said, and the CVB plans to occupy the storefront by the end of the year.

Sentry has purchased the current Visitor Center at 340 Division St. North, with plans to repurpose the building, the release said.

“So much has changed in the tourism industry over the past 21 years,” said Sara Brish, executive director of the CVB. “This location has served us and our visitors well, but we must look forward and plan for the future.”

The Division St. visitor center was builtin 1998, positioned strategically between the Holiday Inn, then central Wisconsin’s largest hotel and convention center, and one of the busiest Kwik Trips in the state. Today, much of what set the Division St. location apart as an ideal spot has been “eliminated,” the release said.

“As the neighborhood changed, with the closure of the hotel and relocation of the gas station, and the advent of digital resources and GPS, it became less of a logical fit to meet the current needs of visitors traveling in the region.”

Since 1986, the SPACVB has been serving all of Portage County as the recognized destination marketing organization. It promotes the region as a tourism destination for meetings, conventions, sports, and leisure visitors.

“One thing that won’t change is our dedication to continue [sic] to serve as the hub for information about things to see and do in all of Portage County, for locals and visitors alike,” Brish said. The new location will be an “ideal location to connect with visitors,” she said, and an opportunity to point them in the direction of more experiences that call the Stevens Point Area home.

Sentry opened a new state-of-the-art office adjacent to the existing visitor center last year. Much like it did when it purchased the former Holiday Inn property in 2011, the company aims to repurpose the space, but has no “specific plans at the moment.”

“We take to heart our responsibility as a civic partner, economic driver, and contributor to the quality of life here in central Wisconsin,” said Elisha Robinson, chief planning officer for Sentry, which employs about 2,500 people in the Stevens Point area and more than 4,400 nationwide. “The community can be confident we’ll find the right purpose for the building.”