A grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting will take place at the new Hood River Downtown Visitor Information Center located downtown, Friday at 5:15 p.m., in conjunction with the First Friday Event. Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort operates the new center with the support of a grant from the Hood River County Visitors Council.

Hood River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Craig Schmidt will represent the Chamber. Tom Bissell, Director of Resort Operations, will be on hand to represent Mt. Hood Meadows. The Hood River County Chamber Ambassadors is helping to organize the event. There will be raffle items such as two tickets to Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort and a beautiful gift basket donated by The Gift House valued at over $300. The drawing will be held Dec. 15. Tickets are $1 each and winners need not be present to win.

The new downtown location will allow visitors to pick up brochures about area attractions, lodging establishments, restaurants, and retailers. The center will promote attractions and businesses from one end of the Gorge to the other and from Mt. Hood to Mt. Adams, in an attempt to showcase the multitude of activities and points of interest in the area. The more visitors know about what to see and do in the area, the longer they will stay which will benefit all businesses throughout the region. Hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily during the summer. The schedule allows the new visitor center to be open weekends year around and into the evenings in the summer. The Chamber of Commerce will continue to operate the Hood River Visitor Center at the Expo Center location.

Deborah Ryan has been hired to operate the center and contact businesses about getting their brochures in the center. Brochure representation is fee based — and other customized opportunities for displaying goods and services are available. To arrange to display a brochure, contact Deborah Ryan at 541-386-3058 or e-mail her at visitorinfo@gorge.net

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