Bastrop News

BCHS announces new visitor center manager

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The Bastrop County Historical Society (BCHS) is proud to announce they’ve hired Sarah Tompkins as the new Bastrop Visitor Center Manager. Tompkins, who has lived in Bastrop since 1993, most recently worked for Bastrop ISD as a behavior coach and computer teacher.

Tompkins says her immediate plans for the Visitor Center are to reach out to area businesses to see how she and the Visitor Center can work with them to make sure our visitors are well informed on what all this area has to offer and that all the information she has about them is up to date. She wants to make sure local residents are also familiar with the center and they understand what a valuable resource it is.

BCHS partnered with the city of Bastrop and the Chamber of Commerce in 2006 to open and oversee the Visitor Center located at the time in the old bank. In 2009 BCHS contracted with the city to operate a Visitor Center as part of its move into current facility which occurred in 2012. Then in 2012 they moved to their current location with the Bastrop Museum when they renovated the old city hall building at 904 Main Street. The center provides information about shopping dining, lodging, recreation and events in Bastrop and surrounding areas. Visitors can get this information from the center itself or by visiting their website at www.visitbastroptx.com. They are open 7 days a week. The website has detailed information on area businesses and you can also download a visitor’s packet with brochures on overnight accommodations, dining and entertainment, homes tours, map of attractions, shops & galleries, downtown and a walking tour. It also has a calendar of events. The Visitor Center is funded by the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT).

There is also an app you can download, Bastrop TX, which has all the same great information on Bastrop and surrounding areas.

Originally, the Bastrop Chamber acted as the area’s visitor center providing similar information and restroom facilities to visitors. Recently, the Bastrop Chamber realized the city did not need to have two centers, so they returned their HOT money to the city which was allocated for the visitor center. Mayor Ken Kesselus says, “This was a very positive community gesture on the chamber’s part, allowing the chamber to focus mostly on the area businesses. It is time we stop thinking like a small town and have forward thinking of a larger city, the chamber no longer needed to be back up anymore, just because that’s the way it’s always been.”

BCHS president, Sandra Chipley, agreed with the mayor saying, “Both the City of Bastrop and the Bastrop County Historical Society (BCHS) are very appreciative to the Chamber of Commerce for the many years that it acted as our community’s Visitor Center and its timely partnering with the BCHS to help create the Bastrop Old Town Visitor Center in 2006.  BCHS’s recent hiring of Georgina Ngozi, Executive Director of the Museum & Visitor Center, and Sarah Tompkins, Visitor Center Manager, has put the Visitor Center on firm standing, providing good timing for the Chamber to concentrate on the excellent services it provides to our community’s businesses”.

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