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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Visitor’s Center to highlight Berlin Main Street business

(Jan. 8, 2015) The Berlin Visitor’s Center, on 14 South Main Street, appears to have found stability following more than six months of uncertainly.
Ivy Wells, who took over Michael Day’s position as town economic and community development director in October, also took over the Main Street coordinator position from Megan Houston this month, moving into her office at the center.
Wells said her role there, as well as that of Jim Volk, who took over daily operations of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce in November and keeps an office in the center, will reinvigorate the building as a hub for local business.
“We need [the center] to showcase local businesses,” Wells said. “Typically when I go visit a town, I’ll go to the visitor’s center first, get all my information together, and then go out and explore. If people can come here and look at all the menus of the restaurants and look at a little snapshot of what all the shops have to offer, that’s going to be a big plus. We want to make the visitor’s center a place where you actually want to go to find out information.”
Wells envisions a row of “cubby” shelves with pamphlets briefing visitors on each shop in downtown Berlin. She also suggested making the center into a gathering place, renting out conference rooms for meetings and placing chess and checkerboard tables outdoors in front of the center.
“Let’s say somebody doesn’t want to go shopping – men maybe. They want to bring their wives here or their significant others and to shop, but what are they going to do? They can come here and sit and play checkers or chess and have a really nice day doing something like that,” Wells said.
Wells hopes to use a combination of grants, volunteer hours and a small part of the Main Street budget to pay for the improvements. Fundraisers could also be a possibility.
“I’m pretty thrifty,” she said. “Plus, I want to get some of the youth involved. Kids need service hours, so if I get some old tables maybe we can get some art students to do a project. I’m all about community service hours.”
The business incubator previously proposed by Michael Day could also find new life under Wells and Volk.
“Jim had a really good idea that we could almost make it like an indoor Main Street,” Wells said. “Someone could have their office in here and we could have their name above the office and hang a shingle over it. I thought that was a really great idea.”
Wells also hopes to replace the carpets inside the center, and make the general décor inside the back rooms look a little less “American Horror Story.”
“We’re going to move some things around and make it more of a gathering place, almost like a town square,” she said. “When people come to Berlin, I want them to say, ‘We have to go to the visitor’s center first. I’ve heard really good things about the visitor’s center.’”