Visitors Center Again Seeking New Downtown Home; Former Bijou Site Gets Major Tenant

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Chattanooga Visitors Center is once again seeking a new home.

This time the move is necessitated by the fact that the former Bijou Theatre site at Shuttle Park South is getting a major new tenant - reportedly a climbing gym. River City Company officials said they would announce the new tenant next Thursday at 11 a.m.

Bob Doak, who heads the Convention and Visitors Center, said he was told the tenant will take up much of the 25,000 square feet at the former downtown cinema. The visitors center uses just 4,000 square feet.

Mr. Doak said the center had an 18-month lease, "but we were always aware that if River City found a major tenant that we would need to move."

He said the visitors center will probably have to relocate by the end of the year.

Mr. Doak said a search is underway to find a highly visible downtown site in the general vicinity.

The visitors center moved to the present location two years ago after a number of years near the Tennessee Aquarium above Friday's restaurant.

That move was brought on by the fact that the Chattanooga History Center was taking that place.

Renovations have long been underway for the History Center, but it has still not opened to the public at the new location.    

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