Visit Eau Claire Opens New ‘Experience Center’ Inside Pablo Center
Visit Eau Claire is now planted firmly in the heart of Eau Claire. The tourism marketing organization held a grand opening Oct. 26 for its new space in the Pablo Center at the Confluence, 128 Graham Ave.
Although the new center – at the intersection of Graham Avenue and Gibson Street at the Pablo’s southeast corner – is devoted to showing visitors (and locals) what’s best about Eau Claire, it isn’t a visitors center: It’s an experience center, said Linda John, Visit Eau Claire’s executive director.
“It’s more than a space for visitors,” she said. “It’s a microcosm of Eau Claire and the Eau Claire experience.”
During the grand opening, that meant Eau Claire-made music, art, food, and drinks. Musicians performed in what has been dubbed “Crescent Corner,” named for a mural titled “Crescent Field” that was created last year by New York artist Kelie Bowman at the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival. John said Visit Eau Claire plans to use the corner for frequent musical performances and other kinds of events. The entire space is flexible, thanks to an open concept and movable walls.
On one wall two huge garage doors offer an easy way to open the experience center to the outside world when the weather is right. The center also includes a Partner Pop-Up Shop, which will feature products from a rotating group of local retailers; a giant city map on the the windows; a traditional visitor information area; a Visit Eau Claire retail shop; and a sampling area for local food and beverages.
“The concepts here are us pulling together our favorites from a lot of different places and creating something that’s uniquely Eau Claire,” John said.