Public invited to party at site of future Mat-Su visitor center

Zaz Hollander

A new visitor center for the Mat-Su got more than $1.2 million in the capital budget signed last week by Gov. Sean Parnell and supporters say they want to share the center's progress with the public.

The Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau will hold a public celebration at the site of the future center on Friday.

The Mat-Su Borough received about $1 million from last year's state capital budget for land acquisition for the Gateway Visitor Center, according to Casey Ressler, the visitor bureau's marketing and communications manager. That money allowed the borough to buy land from Matanuska Electric Association, an acquisition finalized last month, Ressler said. The property, located just east of the Glenn Parks Interchange, was the former site of Homestead RV Park. It's at Mile 36 of the Glenn Highway.

The bureau's board decided eight years ago it was time to move. The existing visitor center sits along a frontage road near the Parks Highway, a less-than-ideal location for tourists who have to get off at the Trunk Road exit, then backtrack past Mat-Su Regional Medical Center to the building that used to sit along the highway.

The "land purchase celebration" on Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. and will include concept slides of what the center might look like, as well as live music and refreshments. Ressler said the new infusion of state funds will pay for design and site preparation work scheduled to begin this summer. For more information, call (907) 746-5000.

Reach Zaz Hollander at or 257-4317.