After yearlong remodel, downtown Charleston visitor center open with retail, event space | Business

In many ways, the concept of a visitor center may feel antiquated. 

Walking across a large blue-and-white map of the Charleston region that now covers part of the floor at the visitor center on Meeting Street, Doug Warner, project lead on the center’s yearlong renovation and Explore Charleston vice president, pulled out a cellphone — by far the biggest game-changer since the center was first opened about 30 years ago. 

With all the information that all the brochures in the world could provide at tourists’ fingertips, visitor centers have to pivot and evolve. 

Even though most travelers are booking their hotel reservations and pulling up maps on their smartphones, visitor centers still have a purpose, Warner insisted — as tools for tourism management. 

“We’re trying to capture the visitor first,” he said. 

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Stocked full of brochures of a variety of Charleston activities and tours at the newly renovated Visitor Center

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