Out with the Old...In with the New..A New Visitor Center in the Works?

Cody could get a new visitor center. Volunteers presented the idea to Park County’s Commissioners Tuesday. The existing visitor center is a very old log building.

Cody’s Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is in a log structure that has stood in downtown Cody since 1924.

It is now home to the Cody Art League, the Chamber of Commerce, the office of the Park County Travel Council, and the Cody Visitor Center and it’s had some structural issues lately.

Retiree John Gordnier said, “And I think the city would tell you they have had some difficulties in maintaining the building.”

The City of Cody owns the building.

The city worked with a local Engineering firm to create conceptual designs for an expanded Chamber/Visitor center at the current site.

Cody City Administrator Barry Cook said, “These are just ideas and no final plan has been decided, and no funding has been identified yet.”

But volunteer John Gordnier and realtor Theresa Donley brought the idea to Park County’s Commissioners, asking for their support.

Gordnier said, “We will come back, and ask for you people to be cheerleaders.”

Gordnier did not ask the commissioners for money. He said that should come from the community.

He explained, “What we want are the people of this county and the people of this city to invest in this county and this city.”

Gordnier and his wife Cynthia Katz are heading the effort now to build a new high tech campus around the old historic log structure.

He suggests the new visitor center could hold interpretive centers for Yellowstone and the Shoshone National Forest, and event space.

Yellowstone’s east entrance is about 52 miles from Cody. Gordnier pointed out 97% of Yellowstone is in Wyoming.

He added, “It’s important in our minds for the rest of the country to understand that 60% of Yellowstone Park is west Park County Wyoming.”

And, he suggested the new Visitor Center may help convince tourist to spend more time in the Eastern part of Park County.

Gordnier said the plan will be presented to the Cody School Board Tuesday night, and to the Cody Chamber of Commerce Board in March.