ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 26, 2016) – The Maryland Department of Commerce announced today that all of the state’s Welcome Centers that were closed six years ago are now open for business in time for the busy summer travel season. The re-opening of the Youghiogheny Overlook center in Garrett County and the Bay Country center in Queen Anne’s County demonstrates the commitment by Governor Larry Hogan’s administration to strengthening Maryland’s tourism industry.
"The reopening of these welcome centers is critical to Maryland's thriving tourism industry and provides an important service to thousands of visitors each year,” said Governor Hogan. “The professionalism of our welcome center staff and their extensive knowledge of the state’s unique attractions ensures that our visitors have a positive experience and will encourage them to return to our state again and again.”
“Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore are filled with attractions that are unique to those areas. The re-opening of both Youghiogheny Overlook and Bay Country provides visitors with a local’s take on the many restaurants, shops, and attractions they can visit, which in turn provides economic benefit to the residents of Maryland,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director of the Department of Commerce’s Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts.
The Youghiogheny Overlook Welcome Center is located six miles east of the West Virginia/Maryland border on eastbound I-68 just outside of Friendsville. This stretch of highway is a major thoroughfare and a vital transportation route to points west.
The Bay Country Welcome Center is located approximately 10 miles north of the Route 50 East/Route 301 North split outside of Centreville between the north and southbound lanes of Route 301 with easy on-and-off access in both directions.
The welcome centers will operate Thursday through Monday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will be closed on major holidays. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) and the Office of Tourism Development (OTD) work in tandem to serve highway travelers by providing safe and scenic rest areas and real-time travel information.
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