Chamber president Lisa Gower says their plan is to turn the building into a welcome center for tourists to the Superman statue and to Metropolis. The Chamber will operate on extended hours – possibly until 7 p.m. – and will be open on Saturdays Memorial Day through Labor day. They will sell their stock of Superman merchandise as well as pre-packaged Dippin’ Dots. There will also be public restrooms available – something only the courthouse provides to tourists right now.
“So many people drive into Metropolis to see the Superman statue and then drive back out. With the Chamber of Commerce in this new visible location, visitors can get information about our local businesses and events which will, hopefully, entice them to stay or come back,” said Gower.
The building will be open during the Superman Celebration this weekend selling Dippin’ Dots, but will be operated by the Ulrich family.
The Chamber has been approved for a $13,800 grant from the Metropolis Tourism Commission, which is part of the City of Metropolis, for a new security system, surveillance cameras, signs and displays for the building, a cleaning service and payroll for a part-time employee for extra hours during the week and Saturdays. The Chamber currently employees one full-time position, Monday through Friday only, and a part-time person during May and June only.
“The chamber is very excited about the move and new location. Metropolis has needed a welcome center and public restrooms for so long, and the Dippin’ Dots building is the perfect location,” Gower said.