The Johnny Appleseed Visitors’ Center recently hosted a business after hours through the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce to highlight to the community the work of the center and to unveil recently completed renovations. The event was attended by local business and community leaders and included a special ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the improvements. It was a great opportunity to let local business and community leaders see the importance of the visitors’ center as a hub for tourist information for North Central Massachusetts. The renovations i ncluded new brochure racks, new shelving and displays, upgraded security systems, a new POS system for the gift shop, and renovations to the bathrooms. The primary goal of the renovations was to better showcase North Central Massachusetts as well as to improve the visitor experience for the hundreds of people who come through the door every day.
The Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center, considered by many the gateway to North Central Massachusetts, opened in 1996 as a way to welcome people traveling through the region and give them a place to stop, stretch their legs, and learn more about the twenty-six communities in North Central Massachusetts and what they have to offer for visitors and families. Open 360 days a year from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., the visitors’ center greets people from the local community as well as those traveling down Route 2 to their destination and those who are vacationing locally with us.
“It’s important to us that everyone who walks through the visitors’ center doors feels welcomed” said Diane Burnette, Visitor Center Manager for the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association. “Whether we are a daily stop for you, or you are coming into the area for the first time, you should have a positive experience here at the Johnny Appleseed Visitors’ Center.”
The center features a gift shop that carries many local products including jams, jellies, honey, maple syrup, fudge, chocolates, sparkling cider and that local icon of American kitsch – the plastic flamingo! Visitors to the center can also find a wide selection of books highlighting the history of the region, plus good-quality logo merchandise and souvenir items.
Over 165,000 people walk through the visitor center doors every year. Some come in for a pit stop on their route, some for directions to a local destination or information on local attractions, and some for the local products from across the region that are sold in the gift shop. One thing that every single visitor receives is a welcoming feeling and a nice “hello” and “have a great day’ as they enter and leave again.
The Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center is open daily. Normal business hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center is located at 1000 Rte. 2 Westbound, between exit 34 & 35, in Lancaster, MA. For more information, please call 978-534-2829 or visit www.visitnorthcentral.com.