New VisitPITTSBURGH Welcome Center Debuts at Airport

Location. Location. Location. It's all about location. And today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, VisitPITTSBURGH, elected officials and key stakeholders opened a new and improved Welcome Center that's centrally located in the landside terminal of the Pittsburgh International Airport.

PITTSBURGH - "Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, the busiest travel period of the year, this highly visible location for our new Welcome Center will enable VisitPITTSBURGH to assist even more visitors and encourage them to experience all that Pittsburgh has to offer," said Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH, the official tourism promotion agency for Allegheny County. "We wanted to create a more modern Welcome Center to go along with all of the other upgrades at Pittsburgh International Airport."

"With Pittsburgh International Airport, we have a world-class airport for a world-class city. It's only fitting that visitors arriving by plane to the region receive friendly and knowledgeable assistance with their trip literally right out of the gate," said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. "As we continue to expand air carrier service at Pittsburgh International Airport, this service will be increasingly important and I am personally very glad to see this Welcome Center in this front and center location."

"The Airport Authority places a high value on its partnership with VisitPITTSBURGH and this new location will help showcase and benefit both the organization and our region," said James Gill, acting executive director of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which manages Pittsburgh International Airport. "Millions of our region's visitors and residents will be able to take advantage of the higher level of customer service this center will provide annually."

The VisitPITTSBURGH Welcome Center at the Pittsburgh International Airport first opened in 1992, the year that the then-new airport opened. While the previous site was located near the back of the baggage claim area, the Welcome Center staff still assisted 10,000 travelers in 2013. With the new central location, airport officials and VisitPITTSBURGH expect to double the number of visitors who stop by the Welcome Center.

A new 80-inch LED high-def video monitor will promote Pittsburgh through impactful VisitPITTSBURGH-produced commercials. In addition, VisitPITTSBURGH will be able to program the system with key messages to welcome groups to the city, such as the NCAA March Madness in 2015. Additional back-lit signage will be changed according to developments, such as special events or performances, another upgrade from the old Center, which had no such infrastructure. Marketing materials for approximately 200 VisitPITTSBURGH partners, including hotels, transportation options, attractions and restaurants will be available to visitors.

Contractors and craftsmen for the Center include Paula Lysy Design (design), John Ross (art and design), Steve Chiang (architect), Allegheny Millwork (cabinetry), Shannon Construction (installation), ED3 Consultants (electrical design), Kirby Electric (electrical installation) and Custom Audio Works (AV installation).

According to VisitPITTSBURGH, the top question asked by visitors is directions, followed by transportation options and inquiries about things to see and do. 
BACKGROUND: In addition to the Welcome Center at the Pittsburgh International Airport, VisitPITTSBURGH operates the WELCOME PITTSBURGH Information and Gift Shop in Fifth Avenue Place, and other centers located in the Fort Pitt Museum, Golden Triangle Bike Rental, Duquesne Incline on Mt. Washington, South Side Chamber of Commerce and the Senator John Heinz History Center.