14 January 2011
RALEIGH — This month, a pair of visitor centers in Randolph County on the I-73/74
corridor will mark their first year operating under a public private partnership
model as part of a pilot program launched by the N.C. Department of Transportation.
Through the pilot program, private vendor Safe-T Concierge Services of Asheboro
has contracted with NCDOT to staff and manage the facilities by offering sponsorships
to generate operating capital.
This public private partnership is part of NCDOT’s overall mission of finding innovative ways to increase efficiency and provide better service at no cost to the state.
Since opening, both centers, located adjacent to NCDOT rest areas, offer opportunities for visitors to learn about new and exciting events in the Piedmont, Coastal and Mountain regions of North Carolina, as well as surrounding states. These include:
Examples of local pottery and maps to local pottery studios;
Information on area produce stands, such as locations and hours of operation; and
Assistance with making reservations for accommodations or attractions.
The visitor centers also offer other special features to make a stop there more enjoyable, such as a calming waterfall and views from the “green” rooftop at the southbound center and a custom rock fireplace and foundation at the northbound center. Both facilities have paved sidewalks that are perfect for travelers looking to take a break from long hours of driving.
NCDOT encourages all travelers to make frequent stops to rest and stretch their legs. Those passing through Randolph County should consider making one of their stops at the visitor centers, which offer beautiful facilities and a unique chance to learn about the area.