Ballinger has a brand new Visitor Center that is the toast of the Chamber of Commerce. Chamber president Belinda Castillo and the other directors were on hand to welcome the public at the ribbon cutting on Thursday, October 3rd at 10:45 a.m., “It’s a beautiful place that is worthy of our visitors who come to our town. We have brochures and pamphlets of information on Ballinger and other towns in the surrounding area. We have a lot of room here and we have a conference room.”

The building has a foyer with information stands and the aforementioned pamphlets, a reception desk, sitting area, offices, conference room and an ADA complaint restroom with ramp.

The red-ribbon cutting and grand opening were attended by the chamber directors along with Ballinger mayor Sam Mallory, councilman Rick Morrish, councilwoman Kristi Goetz and Ballinger city manager Tommy Turney, among others.

Meat and cheese trays along with punch and various snacks were donated by local businesses.

For years the Chamber of Commerce worked out of city hall and now they’ll have their own place in the heart of downtown. Mallory said that it was an ideal location, “The visitor center is right here in the heart of downtown. We’ve already had people from London stop in here. There is a lot of foot traffic in front of the location and it’s easy for people to stop in and find out information.” Castillo was giving tours to anyone who stopped in and who wanted to check out the new location. After she gave Turney a tour he commented on the location, “This is the absolute perfect location for our Visitor Center. You can walk in or you can stop and park on the street right in front of it and come inside. It’s on the main thoroughfare with successful businesses next door to it as well as all up and down the street.

Another program the chamber has is mentoring new businesses. Owners of new businesses can use the chamber for 3-6 months to research their business prospects and receive help from chamber members.

The Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the businesses that donated to the Visitor Center grand opening; Tres Chic for donating a gift basket; Main Street Soda Fountain for the meat tray; Beefmaster Steak House for fried mushrooms, pickles and onion rings; Sylvia’s Grand Amis for the tapenade olive dip; Shoppin Basket for the fruit and cheese tray; Carolyn Slaughter of Curiosities for the brownie bites and the First National Bank of Ballinger for supplying bottled water.

The chamber members and the businesses that they represent are: Belinda Castill- Walmart; Laura Gonzales- Mueller Inc; Jacklyn Cason- Cason Merchantile; Sarah Long- First National Bank; Jeff Smith- KRUN; Heather Rose- Ballinger Home Health &Hospice; Lola Murchison- Parson's Heating & Air; Michael Conrad- Conrad Insurance Agency; Glen Wendt- Maverick Wholesale Furniture; Chad McDuffee- BallingerNews.Com & Ballinger Skate Palace; Carolyn Slaughter- Curiosities; Eloise Hall- Keystone Bank; Suzanne Torress- City of Ballinger.

The Visitor Center is located at 811 Hutchings Ave and the phone number is 326-365-2333.