For the first time in 26 years, the Alton Visitor Center, 200 Piasa St. in Downtown Alton, has been closed due to historic rising flood waters from the Mississippi River.
The building, which sits at the intersection of U.S. 67 and Illinois Route 100 in Alton, is closed until further notice.
“This is an unprecedented flood and one that just won’t give up,” said Brett Stawar, president and CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau. “But, we’re not giving up either. We are still serving the people of the region and our visitors, virtually. The river may have won this round, but our rivers and routes region is based on resiliency. Tourism will win at the end of this battle.”
Visitor Center staff have been relocated to nearby offices and will continue to answer phone calls at 1 (800) 258-6645 and (618) 465-6676. Live chats via the website will also be available during normal business hours seven days a week. The Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau continues to operate on a normal basis.
Unfortunately, visitor services such as informational guides, maps and in person ticket sales for Alton Amphitheater will be suspended until the building can reopen. People can still order tickets through LibertyBankAmphitheater.com or can buy in person at the Fox Theater Box Office in St. Louis or online at MetroTix.com.
Rising river waters and a city flood wall constructed behind the Visitor Center effectively cut off access to the building on Wednesday, May 29. Essential electronic equipment and furniture was removed from the building.
The Mississippi River is expected to crest Tuesday, June 4, at 39.3 feet, just three feet below the 1993 flood level. Additional heavy rains in the upper Midwest could impact river crests and the timing of those crests.
For updated information on business closures, road closures and river levels, go to: www.VisitAlton.com/flood
High water delays Columbus’ ships
High water levels on the Mississippi River have delayed the Grafton arrival of the Nina and Pinta replica ships indefinitely.
The Nina and Pinta had planned to dock in early June at The Loading Dock, 401 Front St., but will announce new plans once waters have receded.