Calling it the “CVB lite,” the City of Colorado Springs plans to open the building on Acacia Park as a visitors’ center this summer.
The building has been unused for decades, but is undergoing a facelift inside and out in order to create the center, which will be staffed by volunteers and include information on downtown restaurants and attractions. It will serve as a satellite to the Convention and Visitors Bureau office, located on south Cascade Street.
“We’ve collaborated with a bunch of folks about this,” said Karen Palus, parks director for the city. “We’re happy we’re going to be able to activate an unused part of the park. It’s going to be a great place to get local information.”
Palus said the Downtown Partnership was going to help with the plans for the visitors’ center – and is seeking busineses to give coupons for people arriving at Acacia Park to get information about downtown.
The city is also seeking businesses to sponsor the center and volunteers to staff it.
“We’ll have it stocked with local information – entertainment, events, restaurants,” she said. “And we want local merchants to put their information at the center as well.”
The center is slated to be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Memorial Day.
Palus also announced about $5.9 million in park and recreation improvements – including turf changes, replacing playground equipment, adding improvements for people with disabilities and renovating buildings. The tennis courts at Memorial Park will be replaced at a cost of $1.03 million, and the handball courts at Memorial Park will be replaced for $250,000. Artificial turf fields at Skyview Sports Complex will also be replaced at a cost of $2.1 million.
The money for the improvements comes from the Trails, Open Space and Parks taxes, the Park Land Dedication Ordinances and the Conservation Trust Fund.