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Visit Oxford gets new visitor’s center

Want to Visit Oxford? There’s an app for that, and a new visitor’s center.

The grand opening of the new Oxford Visitor’s Center was held Thursday at 1013 Jackson Avenue East.

Mary Allyn Hedges, director of Visit Oxford, addressed the crowd from the front steps of the historic Oxford building that has been renovated to house the new visitor’s center.

“In the last three years, Visit Oxford has grown and expanded tourism,” she said. “We were originally the Oxford Convention and Visitors Bureau. . . This has been our ultimate goal to have a new permanent location that could house and accommodate our ever-growing staff. We are thrilled to be in this new office.”

Hedges said Visit Oxford has grown and needed more space to promote tourism for economic benefit.

“We are funded by the 2 percent hotel/motel tax, and we have seen record-breaking growth over the past several years,” she said.

Hedges said Visit Oxford has also partnered with the Chamber of Commerce on a new series of Oxford videos. Some were playing on a television inside the new office.

“The other six videos will be released later this year that include education, health care, retirement, arts and culture, industry – so we are really, really excited to showcase that to the community,” she said.

Mayor Pat Patterson thanked tourism council members.

“They serve for zero, for nothing, and they spend hours on end trying to make Oxford a better place, and we appreciate that,” he said.

Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Lafayette members also announced the creation of a Visit Oxford app.

It will feature historical points of interest around Oxford, local business information and voice over technology detailing landmarks.

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is www.lareecarucker.com.

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