By Sydney Yalshevec

High Point Welcome Center recognized by the state


Sydney Yalshevec

Kendall Atkins sits at his piano playing Christmas carols during the Welcome Centers open house.

The High Point Welcome Center of Western Nebraska held an open house on Friday December 6. Despite the cold weather there was a nice turnout. There was holiday music being played and hot beverages available for the taking. All showed their support for this lovely place that welcomes travelers to Kimball.

That night Jo Caskey made her way around the room greeting people and telling them she had an exciting announcement to make. After everyone had more or less had the chance to visit for a while, Caskey quieted the room in order to make her announcement.

"I wanted to share with you an email that I got today from Kathy McKillip, who is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Tourism Commission, She sent me a map that said, 'Please see the final version of the attached map that includes our intent to assist with the promotion of and part-time staffing at your visitor center.' So that means that the state has now recognized us. She'll be coming to visit us in either February or March," Caskey said.

Caskey was very excited and the room reflected that same energy. She feels very passionate about the welcome center and shares how this news really makes her feel.

"This is huge! It's awesome! To think our Welcome Center has been only up and running five months and the state has recognized it. Wow, I'm walking on cloud nine," Caskey said.

This means that effective January 2014, the High Point Welcome Center of Nebraska will be recognized as one of the fifteen official Interstate 80 Visitor Centers. It will be one of the two centers representing the Panhandle, the other being in Sidney.

Caskey feels thankful toward all the leaders and citizens of the community that aided in making the visitor center happen.The center is staffed by Caskey and two part-time travel counselors. It also serves as a home for the office for Kimball County Tourism.

The welcome center allows visitors to learn about the area. It holds fliers that present an idea of the different activities to participate in and sites to see. There is also merchandise for sale that represents the Nebraska name. A few locally made trinkets can also be found on occasion, which is a nice touch that really lets visitors see what Kimball has to offer.

The center is open seven days a week, 361 days a year. It is only closed New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Winter hours of operation (October 15 to April 15) are 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Summer hours are 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM during the week and 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekends.


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