The White Rock Tourist Information Center opened to the public Sept. 28, 2012. File photo
By Carol A. Clark
Since opening on N.M. 4 in early fall, the White Rock Tourist Information Center Complex has been packed with visitors daily, shattering previous attendance records for the White Rock facility as well as the Los Alamos Visitor Center at 15th Street and Central Avenue.
A monthly report compiled by the Meeting and Visitor Bureau shows 2,398 people visited the White Rock Tourist Information Center from its official opening Sept. 28 through the Sept. 30 month end. This is a marked increase from 817 visitors during the entire month of September 2010 when the facility was located on Rover Boulevard.
The more visible location on N.M. 4 over the last three months drove 2012 numbers to more than 20,000 visitors compared to 10,677 for the entire year of 2011 and 9,215 for all of 2010, according to the report.
October 2012 alone drew 8,172 visitors compared to 3,537 in 2011 and 1,008 in 2010.
Visitors driving on their way to Bandelier National Monument, on the Jemez Mountain National Scenic Byway or heading to White Rock’s Overlook Park are now stopping by the new visitor center.
“The center’s new location gives us a great opportunity to reach visitors who may have just driven by in the past without stopping,” Visitor Centers Manager Katy Korkos said. “And I’m sure this will benefit local business because we are able to make all of these visitors aware of the many businesses located within the County.”
The $2 million White Rock Tourist Information Center building was designed with the environment in mind including solar orientation, LED lighting, a water catchment system for watering landscaping, cement-based siding made from post-consumer products and low-flow plumbing.
Korkos explained that last fall’s dedication of the White Rock Tourist Information Center Complex marked the initial realization of a community vision that was developed with the White Rock community and adopted by the Los Alamos County Council in June 2008 as the White Rock Master Plan/Economic Development Strategy.
Through a unique collaborative process, Korkos said residents, businesses, elected officials and County staff worked together with planning experts, including Steve Brugger, to create a road map of projects designed to vitalize the White Rock community.
Hours of Operation:
- Open 7 days a week 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during high season, March 15 through Oct. 31, and
- Open 7 days a week 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during low season, Nov. 1 through March 14.