Green Bay building $6.5 million visitor center

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay has announced a $6.5 million visitor center intended to serve as "the front door of our community."

The Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau revealed renderings of the new 12,500 square-foot center. The two-story building will house the offices of the CVB, which has been operating out of the Brown County Memorial complex since 1969.

“The CVB must move after the decision was made last year to replace the aging Brown County Arena with an expo center,” said Brad Toll, CEO/President, Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We have been working on this for more than two years. The plan is to create a stand-alone, wow-factor environment that will make a positive impact on visitors so that when they are in our area they stay longer, spend visitor dollars and spend them in more places, come back often and consider moving here.”

The building will be called the Experience Greater Green Bay Visitor Center. It will be located at I-41 and Lombardi Avenue, just west of Lambeau Field.

"Probably there's no better indicator of why we need this is to just look inside our current visitors center and know that Green Bay, Wisconsin can do a whole lot better than that," said Jeff Mirkes, Executive Director/Downtown Green Bay, Inc. "And many of you travel to other communities throughout the country and see the vibrant cities and having centers that promote all the assets in their community and that's what the center will do."

The center will feature an atrium with interactive displays that show off attractions in the community. It will also have an outdoor plaza and garden.

Construction is set to begin in spring 2019, with an expected opening in summer 2020.

Fundraising is underway. The effort has received a boost from a $1.5 million gift form the Oneida Nation.

The Greater Green Bay area pulls in an estimated 5.7 million visitors each year. That's an $671 million economic impact.

“We support the CVB’s vision to create a stand-alone, outstanding visitor center, just west of Titletown and Lambeau Field," says Mark Murphy, Green Bay Packers President/CEO. "The CVB’s vision is in line with ours, which is to share the rich history, opportunity and enjoyment of this area with as many people as we can. Together, we’re helping the world see what a wonderful place Greater Green Bay is to live, work and play.”