Welcome Center to have longer hours

Published 8:44 pm Friday, July 8, 2016

It was announced this week that Selma’s Welcome Center will now open on weekends during the summer months.

During this time of the year, it’s not uncommon to see multiple tour buses stop on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the day, so this is a smart move for the city.

Before this move, the welcome center was only open Monday-Friday and Saturday. Now the center will be open longer on Saturday and several hours on Sunday.  These extended summer hours will help accommodate weekend travelers. The additional hours are made possible by the welcome center staff, which is comprised entirely of volunteers.

At the welcome center, visitors can find brochures on local attractions, maps and information on local dining and lodging. Souvenirs such as T-shirts, mugs, hats and other items are available for purchase.

It’s the place we want visitors to stop when they come into town, so it needs to be open as much as possible. Plus, even locals are still getting used to the new welcome center location.

In August the center opened its doors at 14 Broad Street, which placed it closer to the Edmund Pettus Bridge and put it in more of a centralized location.

If the welcome center sees a lot of foot traffic during its extended hours, we hope the city will consider finding a way to extend its hours during other seasonal breaks and even year round.

Due its the civil rights and Civil War history, the president’s visit last year and the movie “Selma”, our city has become a tourism destination throughout the year. Now, the key is to help visitors figure out what they should see and where they should go when they’re here. With longer hours, the welcome center can even better fill the role of pointing people in the right direction.