Welcome Center sees an influx of visitors across the Panhandle


The High Point Welcome Center was busy this past Thursday, June 22, as the first of five tour groups rolled through town. This report was given to the Kimball County Board of Commissioners at their recent meeting, Tuesday, June 20.

Four more tours are scheduled, two in July and two in September, according to Kimball County Tourism Director Jo Caskey, who added that these groups will be served a farm to fork lunch from BeeHaven.

Two of the five groups will also get the chance to experience the Bison operation at Rocky Hollow Buffalo Company, located at the Monkey Ranch in Banner County.

Additionally, for three of the tours Caskey will serve as a step-on guide and speak about the missile silos here in our area.

“People are just fascinated about them,”she said.

The last group that will arrive for the tours is very important to our state as a whole as the state has finally brought back Motor Coach Tour Familiarization Tours, according to Caskey. More than 10 years ago the state stopped inviting motor coach operators to come enjoy Nebraska. The state has now brought them back.

These tours will be offered twice a year, one in the spring for the eastern part of the state and once in the fall here in western Nebraska. These tours will be an ongoing thing Caskey said.

Tours aren’t the only thing keeping the visitors center busy this time of the year. According to Caskey the visitors center doesn’t normally see a big rush of travelers until the last part of June, however this summer has been a little different.

Caskey said that they have seen around 100 people a day for the last month. This number will increase as we progress into the summer and more families will be vacationing as the metro schools are just getting out of school two weeks ago.

In addition to travelers passing through, hotels all over the Panhandle are beginning to fill up for late August.

Rooms in Valentine, Alliance, North Platte, Chadron, Scottsbluff, Gering, and even Sidney and Kimball are filling up quickly in anticipation of the experience of a lifetime – the total solar eclipse.

Alliance is expected to be the best position for viewing and all the towns around this area have experienced increased hotel room reservations, according to Caskey.

Though hotel room reservations are increasing, according to the Nebraska Eclipse website, Kimball will be 90 miles off the line of totality.

High West announced earlier this month that most important aspect in a Solar Eclipse is a line of totality. Kimball is so far south of that line, that it will look more like a cloudy day, even for Scottsbluff and Gering.

The State of Nebraska Eclipse website also added that it doesn’t matter whether the eclipse above your location is at 48, 58, or 98 percent, only totality reveals a true celestial spectacle.

Kimball County Sheriff, Harry Gillway, joined County Assessor, Sherry Winstrom, and took seat with the commissioners this to discuss the opportunity to purchase a new program to be shared between the two offices for 911 dispatch.

This new technology GIS will provide the 911 dispatch with a exact location of where the emergency call originates.

“Sometimes we will get a call and our GPS will tell us the address is “here” when in reality the house, for example, is in the middle of the section of land and instead of going one way we needed to turn here,” Gillway said.

He added that this purchase will help make things easier for everyone and emergency vehicles will be able to get to the correct place faster and for the residences that are out in the middle of a section, assistance would be provided faster.

The new system is based off of land line phone numbers, and will send the exact quadrants. However the GPS singles for 911 calls from all mobile phones will still go through as they already do, even with the upgraded system.

Winstrom added that the new technology would help the County Assessors officers when they need to go out in the field and assess the property.

The assessors office has a $6,000 credit with the company to use as a downpayment on the new technology. Gillway said the remaining amount of $7,000 could be paid out of the 911 account.

The County Commissioners agreed that this would be a good purchase for the efficiency of the Assessors office as well as the safety of residents, travelers, and emergency vehicles. This new system will be purchased by both offices and will be shared between them.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018

Rendered 01/07/2019 23:13