Council axes York County’s plan to build Visitor’s Center at Riverwalk

Posted September 16, 2013 11:01 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

Following heated discussion Monday night, York County Council voted to nix a plan to build a new Visitor’s Center in Rock Hill’s Riverwalk development.

The vote by council does not completely shelve the idea for a new facility — but means council now has more time to consider the effectiveness of a Visitor’s Center.

York County Councilman Michael Johnson says before that happens, the council needs to direct a vision for the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The plan defeated last night called for spending upwards of $1.5 million, 4,000  square foot, two-story center on .82 acres.

York County councilman Bump Roddey said he was caught off guard by council’s decision.

Roddey was the chief proponent behind the Riverwalk site.

The Visitor’s Center would have been the new home for the county’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau — a group Johnson says he supports — but just doesn’t see the need now for a brand new building.

Johnson says if he had his way, he would want the CVB to put a big focus of its efforts on sports tourism.

Right now, the CVB works out of leased space at the Baxter Hood Center in Rock Hill.

The bureau was started in 2006 with seed money from the county’s general fund before hospitality taxes kicked in supporting the agency and tourism efforts.