Put out the welcome mat

9:21 pm May 31st, 2012

Townsfolk, including Mayor Ray Harper (seated, green shirt and white hair), sat in front of the Eatonville Visitor Center and watched the Fourth of July parade in 2010. The building on Mashell Avenue opened earlier that year but got little use until the past year.

If you like talking to tourists about Eatonville and pointing out what the town has to offer, there’s a place for you at its Visitor Center.
Volunteers are being recruited to spend a few hours on weekends being an ambassador on behalf of the town and the surrounding area for people who are passing through or looking for things to do.
Town Councilwoman Abby Gribi, the head of a citizens’ committee that’s helping manage the center, said she wants to hear (at 253-678-3547) from people who “are friendly and will talk to people” while handing out information about businesses and attractions.
The Visitor Center and adjoining restrooms are scheduled to open for the spring-summer season starting with the Memorial Day weekend May 26-28 and be open as many ensuing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as possible. Its hours will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Built and owned by the town, the wood structure on Mashell Avenue – designed to emulate the forest lookout towers of the area’s history – was formally dedicated in mid-2010 but was little-used until the past year. Its visitor function initially was a joint project of the town and the Eatonville Chamber of Commerce. Chamber representatives have been invited to be part of the new town-appointed management committee, which Gribi said is open to input from community members.
In addition to promoting businesses and points of interest for visitors, the center will distribute brochures or flyers for non-profit organizations. And its adjoining restrooms will be available to the traveling public.
The building is also available to the public for non-profit uses, such as meetings or other community activities. “It’s a community resource and should be used by the community,” Gribi said.
Applications to host activities at the building are available at Town Hall.

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