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I-70/Utah Welcome Center, RIP???

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US 89:
Apparently it closed in November 2021 after the state Office of Tourism stopped funding it:

Thompson Welcome Center closed in 2021 due to costs


--- Quote from: Moab Times-Independent ---The Thompson Welcome Center, located about three miles east of Thompson Springs on Interstate 70, closed in November 2021 after the Utah Office of Tourism stopped funding its upkeep.

The office had previously paid Grand County $85,000 annually to maintain the rest stop, an agreement that ceased in 2021 according to Utah Office of Tourism Managing Director Vicki Varela.

“We don’t have the resources,” Varela said, to maintain the aging Thompson stop.

Varela said that decades after their midcentury construction, state-run welcome centers and rest stops no longer fit visitors’ needs or contribute to downtown economies. She said visitation to the centers has declined dramatically.

“What people should experience about Utah is what they can get at the … centers downtown,” Varela said. “So over time we just had to phase out funding.”

The restrooms in the welcome center remain open, confirmed Utah Department of Transportation Senior Communications Manager Kevin Kitchen. He said the department currently plans to continue maintaining that portion of the rest stop.
--- End quote ---

thenetwork:

--- Quote from: US 89 on September 25, 2023, 10:23:38 PM ---Apparently it closed in November 2021 after the state Office of Tourism stopped funding it:

Thompson Welcome Center closed in 2021 due to costs


--- Quote from: Moab Times-Independent ---The Thompson Welcome Center, located about three miles east of Thompson Springs on Interstate 70, closed in November 2021 after the Utah Office of Tourism stopped funding its upkeep.

The office had previously paid Grand County $85,000 annually to maintain the rest stop, an agreement that ceased in 2021 according to Utah Office of Tourism Managing Director Vicki Varela.

“We don’t have the resources,”  Varela said, to maintain the aging Thompson stop.

Varela said that decades after their midcentury construction, state-run welcome centers and rest stops no longer fit visitors’ needs or contribute to downtown economies. She said visitation to the centers has declined dramatically.

“What people should experience about Utah is what they can get at the … centers downtown,”  Varela said. “So over time we just had to phase out funding.”

The restrooms in the welcome center remain open, confirmed Utah Department of Transportation Senior Communications Manager Kevin Kitchen. He said the department currently plans to continue maintaining that portion of the rest stop.
--- End quote ---

--- End quote ---

Did not know that...My work travels through there were usually between 6-8 AM, well before the Welcome center would open for the day. It just recently caught my attention when they were starting to switch out signs.

It's too bad, since Moab & Arches are about 30 minutes south of the Interstate on US-191.  Having no information center by the interstate makes little to no sense at all, especially since I wouldn't trust that neon green tourist trap at Crescent Jct -- the place looks too creepy.

US 89:
Let's be real though... if you're on westbound I-70 at Thompson Springs and you're going to Moab, you're already doing it wrong because you missed out on 128.

Henry:

--- Quote from: US 89 on September 25, 2023, 11:05:49 PM ---Let's be real though... if you're on westbound I-70 at Thompson Springs and you're going to Moab, you're already doing it wrong because you missed out on 128.

--- End quote ---
But you can still double back on US 191.

kphoger:

--- Quote from: thenetwork on September 25, 2023, 11:01:24 PM ---It's too bad, since Moab & Arches are about 30 minutes south of the Interstate on US-191.  Having no information center by the interstate makes little to no sense at all, especially since I wouldn't trust that neon green tourist trap at Crescent Jct -- the place looks too creepy.

--- End quote ---


--- Quote from: US 89 on September 25, 2023, 11:05:49 PM ---Let's be real though... if you're on westbound I-70 at Thompson Springs and you're going to Moab, you're already doing it wrong because you missed out on 128.

--- End quote ---

And let's be real...  if you're on westbound I-70 at Thompson Springs and you're going to Moab, you've already learned what sights there are to see in the area and have already made arrangements ahead of time for lodging and sightseeing.  You don't need to stop off at a welcome center to find that stuff out.  No, driving somewhere and just finding stuff out when you get there is a road trip mentality from a bygone era, no longer appealing to the large majority of travelers–and not even really possible in this age of always-at-capacity, reservation-only national park campgrounds.

Which, I'm sure, is why ...


--- Quote from: thenetwork on September 25, 2023, 11:01:24 PM ---

--- Quote from: Moab Times-Independent ---Varela said ... state-run welcome centers and rest stops no longer fit visitors’ needs ... [and] visitation to the centers has declined dramatically.

--- End quote ---


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