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Southwest Louisiana ,
Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan. (American Press)

Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan. (American Press)

Sulphur to get visitors center for Creole Nature Trail

Last Modified: Thursday, December 27, 2012 7:23 PM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

The development of a visitors center in Sulphur will reveal a “hidden gem” in Southwest Louisiana, Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan said.

The Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau recently received $2.5 million in revenue bonds from the state bond commission to build a center in Sulphur to tout the Creole Nature Trail.

Shelley Johnson, bureau executive director, said in a news release that the center will give people passing through an “opportunity to get a taste of what they can see and do in the area.”

She said it will house “interactive hands-on” exhibits on the estuary system and local culture.

“This immersive program experience will be designed to educate visitors and children, while identifying area assets including the best places to spot alligators, view migrating songbirds and enjoy the natural beauty of our area,” the news release said.

Duncan said the center, which will be at the intersection of La. 27 and Arena Road, will be a “major asset” to Sulphur.

“It will be located on our side of the Creole Nature Trail, and it’s going to attract a lot more visitors to the area,” he said. “It’s location being in close proximity to the West Cal Arena and the events center is really going to enhance both of those.”

Duncan said he anticipates an “economic boom” once the project is complete.

“People are going to stop (at the visitors center), they are going to eat at our restaurants and fill up their vehicles with gas,” he said. “I’m excited for the vision that the CVB has and that they thought of our area and all the assets we have to offer. It’s great.”

Johnson said the Creole Nature Trail lost one of its “most celebrated attractions” after Hurricane Rita in 2005, and the new center will unveil a “unique national treasure.”

“This interpretive center ... will help to increase visitation and awareness of the natural wonders of Southwest Louisiana,” she said.

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