The city of North Bend decided to close the Visitor Information Center (VIC) and Mountain View Art Gallery located at the corner of Bendigo Blvd. and Park Street. The VIC will close its doors on Sept. 8.
According to the city, the council began deliberating closing the VIC in early 2019 but made the final decision during a work study session on July 23. Communication manager, Jill Green said the city finished its five-year lease of the small building on July 31. After the lease expired, the city chose to renew month to month. The building was operated by the North Bend Downtown Foundation.
The council and city staff are pursuing other ways to invest in tourism and support the arts that they hope will enhance the interactions between visitors and citizens. Green said the council and staff members are considering a museum and partnering with an existing business. An alternative method of reaching and interacting with tourists include advertising in magazines or creating more targeted pamphlets.
Special events coordinator and VIC coordinator Bre Keveren said the VIC was enjoyed by local visitors and by travelers from all over the globe.
“We would like to thank everyone, especially local artists who have shared and enjoyed the art at the North Bend Visitor Information Center and Mountain View Art Gallery,” she said. “We certainly appreciate working with you all and look forward to connecting with you in the form our visitor information takes.”
There is no immediate plan to move the VIC and art gallery to another location, Green said.