After much anticipation, the new Brown County Visitors Center is now open! With the help of many local contractors, artists, and craftsmen, the long-awaited space is finally complete. Its contemporary rustic design not only features interactive technology, but also captures the true essence of Brown County!
From the illustrative, super-sized town and county maps, event board, and countertops hand-carved from local trees to large touch-screen computers and a media room with an informative Brown County video on loop, the new center is all about helping the visitor! Aside from the many decorative touches, including lights, doors, metal work, rustic barn wood accents, counters, panels, a porch, and more, all made by local craftsmen, the new Visitors Center also features an exclusive line of Brown County retail and floor-to-ceiling graphics straight out of the new Visitor Guide. There will even be a fire boulder outside surrounded by beautiful landscaping and plenty of seats for relaxing come spring. Needless to say, the new Visitors Center is well worth the wait!
Not only is the new space decked out in a fresh, revamped Brown County look, it also boasts a more convenient location. Stationed on the south end of the Village, it’s close to the State Road 46 and 135 intersection, perfect for dropping in as you arrive in town from the Bloomington or Columbus direction. If you’re coming from up north, it’s a straight shot through town before landing upon the new Visitors Center. We’re right on the main road, easy to spot, and even easier to park! Just pull into the loading zone on Washington Street while you pop in to get all your questions answered. Park along that same street for up to two hours or in the church donation lot across the road for a longer visit. We even have our own restroom this time around!
We know it took us a long time, but after all, it does take a lot of work converting a gas station into a Visitors Center. Yep, our beautiful new Visitors Center was once a single-pump Circle K. Talk about a transformation! From the walk-in coolers and cash registers to the drink machine and even the gas pump itself, we had to do a lot of demo before we could even begin. We knew it wasn’t going to be the typical remodel going into it, but oh my, was it a complete overhaul or what?!
There also was a lot of planning and design work that went into the new Visitors Center in the beginning stages because we wanted to create the best space possible. While the building itself kind of fell into our laps with what seemed like perfect timing, getting everything all planned out and sticking to our timeline was a bit harder. From selecting an architect and approving drawings to bidding out contractors and finding the perfect one, each and every step was a process. A very deliberate, tedious, and essential process might we add!
Additionally, we worked with many local craftsmen throughout the design and construction stages. And boy, are we glad that we did! Turning our vision into reality, we let our craftsmen do what they do best…create one-of-a-kind touches that you just can’t find anywhere else. We want to give a big shout out to those who had a hand in creating the new Visitors Center and to their truly original contributions! Without the talent and skills of our local craftsmen, the new space wouldn’t be nearly as “Brown County” as it is today. And that’s something we love!
Another cool thing about the new Visitors Center is that we’ve gone green! Not only were the products we used during construction as eco-friendly as we could manage, but we’ve also incorporated more interactive technology. We’ll use our large touch-screen computers to help you find all the information you’re looking for. We’ll even print it out for you right then and there too! Between these computers, our iPads, and our media room, we’re aiming to create a more hands-on and fun environment. Plus, we’re actually absorbing some printing costs for our local business owners as well. It’s just a bonus that it’s better for the environment!
All in all, we’ve tried to build and re-model the new space with as much planning, precision, and detail as possible…all in the hopes of creating a Visitors Center that best serves you! We are so thrilled with the new center and can’t wait to share it with you. We can only hope that you love our new home as much as we do!
Be sure to come check it out for yourself at 211 South Van Buren Street! And stay tuned for a date for our big grand opening this spring!
A huge thank you to the following people for all the time, energy, and effort put forth on the new Visitors Center:
The Brown County Tourism Commission and CVB Board of Directors; Bruce Gould, Kevin Ault, and Mike Patrick, who served on the Visitors Center Review Committee; the Brown County Council; the Town of Nashville for your help with permitting; Jenny Johnson for not only leasing us the space, but also for sharing in our vision; architect Michael Chamblee; Bob Blass of oornj, with the help of Ed Illig, for interior and exterior designs; general contractor John Nelson with Heartland Construction; Rob Besosa with Hoosier Barn & Table, who created our eye-catching media room door and retail box and cart display; Darrin Kean, who re-purposed our old conference room table into a beautiful front counter including metal paneling; Brad Cox with Cox Creek Mill for our decorative metal brochure rack and merchandise arms; Dennis Parman for our unique media room light fixture; the 360 Group for our colorful wall graphics and illustrative town and county maps; Lyn and Leo Miller of Vision Ventures for the promotional Brown County video; Phil Tournee of Tournee, Inc. for the construction time-lapse video; The Beamery for our grand porch entrance; Mike Becraft for the outdoor stone work; Justin Mollo with Dynamic Concrete for our sidewalks, Star Electric; Dunham Plumbing Co.; and Cornwell Communications.
Brown County Visitors Center:
211 South Van Buren Street, Nashville, IN 47448
800.753.3255 / 812.988.7303