Two Harbors Chamber running North Shore Information Center at Lester RiverTourists heading out of Duluth and stopping by the North Shore Information Center at Lester River may take note of the sign saying the service is brought to you by the Two Harbors Chamber of Commerce.
By: Holly Henry, Lake County News Chronicle
Tourists heading out of Duluth and stopping by the North Shore Information Center at Lester River may take note of the sign saying the service is brought to you by the Two Harbors Chamber of Commerce.
Or a double-take.
“Basically, we agreed to put Duluth information in the booth in exchange for the lease,” Two Harbors Chamber of Commerce President Gordy Anderson said of his organization’s creative marketing, if not a little bit of encroachment, on Duluth turf.
After the doors of the way-too-cute little blue chalet closed last fall, seemingly for good, Duluth’s civic-minded and entrepreneurial neighbors to the northeast took up the slack. The Two Harbors Chamber purchased the single-room building overlooking Lake Superior for $2,000 and struck a lease agreement with the city of Duluth for use of the property.
With Two Harborites at the helm, it reopened last week.
“We were most certainly concerned that there would be gap in information at the corridor to the North Shore and we would lose visitors,” Anderson said. “We were also concerned that the Lake Superior North Shore Association would sell the building to someone else and we would never be able to re-establish an information site at a similar location.”
The Lake Superior North Shore Association previously operated the center, located near the Lester River bridge on London Road.
In 2008, 5,800 visitors stopped by between June and mid-October. With the reopening, 156 people had signed in by 4 p.m. on Friday alone.
The chamber will staff the visitor center with three full-time employees, seven days a week.
Part of the project was paid for by the Two Harbors Visitor Bureau and the LaBounty Family Fund.
“Going forward, we hope our membership will see the value of this project and be willing to support it,” Anderson said. “It benefits us all.”
Sammi Anderson, who was staffing the center Friday afternoon, reported “a lot of people asking directions or wanting to know about what is up the shore.” The most common questions she fielded were requests for information about Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse and Canal Park.
Heidi Bodette of Lakeville, Minn., was one of the visitors.
“We’ve been on the North Shore many times, and I always tell my husband to stop,” she said. “I like the mile-by-mile guide.”
The visitor center is open Mondays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be open until mid-October.
Duluth News Tribune staff member Steve Kuchera contributed to this report.