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In July, Wyoming Travel & Tourism welcomed the grand opening of the new Northeast Wyoming Welcome Center, which is located off I-90 at exit 199. The building, which was designed to be a Zero Net Energy facility that generates as much energy as it uses, features an interior gallery space that allows visitors an interactive glimpse into Wyoming’s history, wildlife, ranching, rodeos, mining and outdoor recreation.
An Ancient Wildlife display, for example, features a life-size replica of Kelsey, the 65-million year-old triceratops found near Newcastle, Wyo. Children can also make rubbings of fossil replicas embedded in the cliff wall where Kelsey is. Visitors can also pose as whitewater rafters or mount a replica horse for photo opportunities. A covered wagon in the welcome center also houses a Google Earth display and a series of interactive dioramas.
“A welcome center is designed to serve the traveling public but our vision was to create a place to engage visitors, let them know what they have to look forward to during their stay and to offer suggestions on more things to see and do. This ultimately results in longer stays and has a greater impact on the economy,” said Diane Shober, director of Wyoming Travel & Tourism.
Tourism is Wyoming’s second-largest industry and Shober gave credit to the state’s ongoing support of travel and tourism.
“This is the largest investment in tourism infrastructure in more 20 years, which I believe strengthens our sector, making tourism an even greater economic driver,” she said.
Wyoming Travel & Tourismwww.wyomingtourism.org