Marietta visitors bureau moving to Greene Street

MARIETTA – In three weeks the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau will be relocated to 119 Greene St. – just in time for the 2013 Ohio River Sternwheel Festival.

“We plan to be in our new offices by Sept. 2, which means we’ll be there for the festival, but we also think it will be a very good location for us, and will offer better versatility,” said Jeri Knowlton, executive director of the CVB.

The bureau has been in its current location, in the Putnam Commons building at 121 Putnam St., since around 2006 when the agency moved out of the former Biszantz-Bosworth house on Third Street which the CVB shared with the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber also moved into its current offices on the corner of Greene and Front streets at the same time.

“There’s a little smaller space at our new location-we’ll probably need some off-site storage space-but the rent will be a little less, too,” Knowlton said.

CVB board president Chuck Swaney said the Greene Street locale should provide better visibility for the bureau.

“We’re trying to increase our visibility and are hoping there will be more visitor traffic generated from the Lafayette Hotel and by being ‘closer to the action’ in that area of Greene and Front streets,” he said.

Trey Fairchild, the CVB’s multimedia coordinator, said the new location is on “the gateway street into Marietta.”

“And we’re already planning to improve the building’s facade so that visitors will know that the CVB offices are located there,” he said.

Casey Knowlton, public relations and social media coordinator for the CVB, said another advantage of the Greene Street spot is parking.

“We’ll have parking spaces actually dedicated for visitors,” he said, adding that there is also more on-street parking available.

Swaney said the move does not mean the CVB has lost interest in eventually locating at Armory Square in the 200 block of Front Street.

“We still have a definite interest in the armory. We couldn’t ask for a better location,” he said. “It’s on Front Street, next to the post office, and has plenty of parking. But it’s still an incomplete project.”

Renovation of Marietta’s nearly 100-year-old National Guard Armory building has been under way for the last couple of years, but due to funding issues the work has had to be done in phases.

Once completed the facility is expected to serve as an intermodal transportation center and will house offices for the CVB, WASCO Inc., Veterans Services and commercial bus lines.