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Sarasota Friday, Jul. 11, 2014 1 year ago

Visit Sarasota County center relocating downtown

by: Jessica Salmond Staff Writer

Visit Sarasota County's visitors center will be relocating downtown to attract visitors to the core of Sarasota.

After presenting Visit Sarasota's budget to the Sarasota County Commission Wednesday, President Virginia Haley announced the relocation and said negiotiations on a space downtown were being finalized, although she did not disclose the location.

The visitors center is currently located at 701 N. Tamiami Trail, in what was once the Chidsey Library. The nonprofit decided to end its lease, which expires Dec. 1.

Visit Sarasota paid $20,000 per year to the county to lease the center's space in the building, which also houses the Sarasota County History Center. Haley had expressed the organization's frustration with the lack of signage to help guide visitors to this location.

"Visitors simply cannot find us," she said in a letter to the city.

The new location near Main Street will allow the visitors center to enjoy increased visibility to guests staying at the 2,000 rooms in hotels in the downtown core, Haley said. 

Visit Sarasota will also have a presence at the Mall at University Town Center, she said at the meeting. The organization will have an outpost connected to the information desk at the mall.


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