HIGH POINTS REMEMBERED
Former Tourism Director Reflects On Kimball Visitor Center's History
September 8, 2022
In November 2019, when Jessica Rocha, the new tourism director, took over, she provided some background information on the Highpoint Visitor Center in her Observer column.
She wrote, "The county purchased this property (the old Burger King on the hill) about seven years ago, and we opened in July of 2013 as an information/welcome center. Since that time, we have had almost 83,000 visitors!"
The county purchased the old Burger King building and parking areas, which include 4.9 acres, as well as an 8.39-acre tract just west of the building in July 2014 for $250,000.
In the nine years that the visitor center has operated, the gift shop was one of their success stories and showcased about 30 local vendors. The gift shop included local and state souvenirs.
Rocha recently resigned, but she helped with or organized many events, such as the Tour de Nebraska, the re-establishment of the Tri-State Marker, local tours, bringing AmeriCorps teams in to do volunteer work, Lincoln Highway Nebraska Byway group, Kimball Art Walk, and sprucing up the Visitor Center.
She also created and published the Kimball Area Tourism brochure and visitor guide.
The visitor center received financial assistance from the city and county and the lodging tax.
Rocha said the visitor center also "received sponsorship from Scotts Bluff and Morrill counties. We also had ad revenue from Discover Northwest Nebraska, Cherry County, Box Butte County and North Platte."
In an email, Rocha said, "We reached over 100,000 visitors who came through our doors since opening in 2013. Many of these people were regulars who made our center their official stop on every trip. They enjoyed clean restrooms, souvenirs, snacks, brochures, and chatting with the staff. We offered almost all 50 state highway maps, which travelers loved!"