Visit Meridian/Lauderdale County Tourism is leaving its current location — the old Greyhound bus station on Constitution Avenue.
In just a few weeks, Visit Meridian will move into the Union Hotel building on Front Street, just a stone’s throw away from the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience, scheduled to open in April.
After Feb. 1, the building will be vacant until county officials decide what to do with the old bus station, which was a stopping point for the Freedom Riders of 1961.
“Anything that we do downtown has to go through Mississippi Department of Archives and History and it has to get their blessing,” said Lauderdale County Administrator Chris Lafferty.
Meanwhile, interior construction is under way for Visit Meridian’s new location, which is on the first floor of the Union Hotel.
“With The Max opening, we obviously want to put our best foot forward, and this is not the most pristine place to be welcoming visitors,” said Visit Meridian/Lauderdale County Tourism executive director Dede Mogollon. “… It’s a block away from The MAX, and it’s right there on Front Street where we’re adding congestion, not taking away from it.”
Also on Front Street is the Jimmie Rodgers Railroad and Music Museum, scheduled to open in tandem with The MAX. The new museum is the combination of the Jimmie Rodgers and Meridian Railroad Museums.
The Jimmie Rodgers Foundation recently signed a lease with the City of Meridian for the Meridian Railroad Museum building at Singing Brakeman Park.
“A lot of great things are happening in the Arts & Entertainment District and we’re excited to be a part of it,” a JRF representative wrote on Facebook.
Last summer, JRF elected Ed Snodgrass as president, and deciding to relocate the museum from its current location in Highland Park was one of his priorities.