Tourism agency takes over SC welcome centers

The Associated PressJuly 11, 2014 

— South Carolina's nine welcome centers are getting a new look, after the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism takes over operation from the state transportation department.

More than $3 million will be redirected to the tourism department from the transportation department to operate the welcome centers, The State newspaper ( ) reported.

Tourism department spokesman Marion Edmonds says about $1 million will be spent to renovate the centers. The tourism agency is getting money that originally had been set aside to attract filmmakers to South Carolina.

Tourism department employees already staffed the welcome centers but now will have control of them, maintaining, renovating and replacing facilities as needed.

More than 1 million visitors were helped by staff members between July 2012 and July 2013.

Most of the welcome centers are near South Carolina's borders, including Blacksburg, Dillon, Fair Play, Fort Mill, Hardeeville, Landrum, Little River and North Augusta. Another is located along Interstate 95 in Santee.

The welcome centers include bathrooms and amenities that the state's dozen rest areas also offer. The transportation department will continue to operate the rest areas.

Information from: The State,

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