The White Rock Visit Center is located at 115 State Road 4, White Rock, New Mexico 87544.
LOS ALAMOS, NM — Sept. 13, 2012 — The new $2.5 million White Rock Visitor Center Complex located in Los Alamos County, New Mexico is scheduled to open its doors to visitors during a grand opening ceremony on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. The new 3,281 square foot Visitor Center, located along State Road 4 between the Valles Caldera National Preserve and Bandelier National Monument, is intended to become a tourist center and local transit hub to and from Bandelier and the Los Alamos townsite.
The Visitor Center is the first of several projects designed to create a central new town center for White Rock.
“We are enthusiastic about the opportunities that will be opening up to businesses in White Rock now that the new Visitor Center is open,” said Los Alamos County Chair Sharon Stover, adding that the facility was one of the first achievements in the White Rock Master Plan for economic development, and was completed in conjunction with improvements to adjacent SR 4 to make it more attractive. “With the new Visitor Center and County-funded shuttle service, White Rock is going to be identified as the entrance to Bandelier for most visitors,” she said, “and we want to create a welcoming environment that encourages travelers to stop, shop and stay with us. We hope they’ll explore opportunities in White Rock and Los Alamos that exist beyond the national park.”
“The new Visitor Center will provide a better way for the business community to reach out to the more than 200,000 visitors to Bandelier National Monument,” said Katy Korkos, member services coordinator of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. “With as many as 300 visitors per day at the height of tourist season, that’s 300 people who will discover just how much there is to see and do within a short drive. We hope the resulting traffic will have a positive effect on area businesses in the County, and the community as a whole.”
Several representatives from agencies who were instrumental in the implementation of the Visitor Center will participate in the grand opening. Agencies include: Los Alamos County Council; White Rock Master Plan Implementation Committee; Los Alamos County’s Capital Projects Division; architect Doug Heller; Lodgers Tax Advisory Board; and staff and volunteers from both the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center; among others.
The White Rock Visitor Center building and landscaping was developed using many environmentally friendly features such as recycled concrete-based siding; solar orientation and installation of energy efficient LED lighting in visitor center and parking lot; installation of an inverted roof to collect rainwater for irrigation use on outside plants; xeric, low water usage landscaping; and vaulted ceilings and numerous windows to allow for plenty of natural lighting, to save energy.
Key features of the Visitor Center also include:
- RV Park – short-term, 16-space parking for RVs, along with a dump station and utility hook-ups;
- Transit hub – offering transit to/from the Los Alamos townsite and Bandelier National Monument;
- Dog holding pen – 40-foot gated dog pen for canine travelers;
- Picnic tables.
The Visitor Center will be staffed with at least one employee and one volunteer who will welcome visitors and answer questions regarding area attractions such as: Bandelier National Monument; White Rock Overlook; Valles Caldera National Preserve; Jemez Mountain Trail Scenic Byway; and attractions in the city of Los Alamos including Bradbury Science Museum; Los Alamos Historical Museum; Fuller Lodge; and, eventually, the Manhattan Project National Historic Park; among others.
Visitor Center hours will from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. at peak tourist season (March 15 through Oct. 31); and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the low season (Nov. 1 through March 14). The facility will be closed on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Los Alamos County’s Atomic City Transit will offer free shuttle service to/from the White Rock Visitor Center to both the Los Alamos townsite and Bandelier National Monument. Shuttle service from the transit hub to the Los Alamos townsite will be available Monday through Friday, while service to Bandelier will be offered seven days a week. An additional stop is available on Rover Blvd. A downloadable map of the Route 2 map to and from the transit hub is available on the Atomic City Transit website at http://www.losalamosnm.us/transit/Documents/Route2.pdf. For more information, call 505-661-7433.
The White Rock Visitor Center is part of a coordinated effort between the Los Alamos County and the White Rock Master Plan Implementation Steering Committee to revitalize White Rock, NM.
The next phase includes refurbishment of the White Rock Senior Center and Youth Activity Center; along with construction of a new branch library; and extension of the Canada del Buey Trail, which will connect the White Rock Visitor Center with Overlook Park at the center of White Rock.
Project construction of the White Rock Visitor Center was completed in less than a year – from November 2011 to August 2012 – by Gerald Martin Construction.
White Rock offers a vast trail system with at least 73 miles of designated trails. The city is part of Los Alamos County, whose history dates back as far as 1150 BC, when ancestral puebloans inhabited the area. Remnants of their existence can be found among the petroglyphs and pueblo dwellings at Bandelier National Monument.
The new White Rock Visitor Center is located at 115 State Road 4 in White Rock, NM. For more information on the White Rock Visitor Center, contact Katy Korkos at 505-661-4816. For general information on Los Alamos’ history, special events, or other details, visit www.fyila.com.