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Visitors center goes virtual during virus crises

The Alton Visitor Center, 200 Piasa St., Alton, is becoming a virtual visitor center during the coronavirus pandemic. The center will remain staffed but will be closed to the public. All visitor inquiries will be handled through phone calls, email and website chat sessions effective immediately.

This move was taken after careful monitoring and discussions around ways to ensure the safety and well-being of visitors and staff alike, Brett Stawar, president and CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau said. Staff will welcome inquiries about the Great Rivers & Routes region of Madison, Macoupin, Montgomery, Jersey, Calhoun and Greene counties in Illinois in all ways, except face to face communication.

Visitors will be able to phone the center at (618) 465-6676 or (800) 258-6645 for any updates or tourism related information from throughout the region.  In addition, visitors can email for email correspondence or even live chat on the website.  An ongoing clearinghouse for visitor information to this region can be found at

“This is an unprecedented crisis for our country and our region, and in particular the tourism economy,” Stawar noted. “We must remain steadfast in our efforts to serve the tourism sector and our small business community that truly makes our destination one of the best in the Midwest. All of us at the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau are committed to seeing this through and are ready to fully engage our efforts to serve the tourism sector through more promotions and support once this crisis has ended.”

The hours of the live virtual service will be Monday through Friday 8:30 a. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The visitor center is only closed on Easter, Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving Day.



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