VCVB board approves move to new downtown location

Published 10:18 pm Friday, July 1, 2016

The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau will be located in a new building as early as July 15, according to its executive director Bill Seratt.

During its Thursday evening meeting, the VCVB board of directors voted to enter into a lease to rent the top floor of 1619 Walnut St., located across from the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library, for its new office space.

This relocation comes after the organization requested to move from its latest headquarters at the Old Depot Museum, for which they had signed at 20-year lease with the city of Vicksburg that was canceled earlier this month.

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“The Old Depot Museum has expressed the desire to expand, and we need more room. This building at 1619 Walnut is best suited to our needs,” Seratt said.

Though some had expressed concern that the new building was not located on Washington Street, Seratt noted that no building that didn’t require extensive renovations was available.

“Talking to some of the landlords, (those renovations) would be expected to be at our expense,” Seratt said.

The board approved a five-year lease agreement with rent costing $2,000 per month for the first two years and $2,500 a month for the remaining three years for the building on Walnut Street.

“The space on that floor is more than enough for what we need,” he added.

The building’s bottom floor holds the Vicksburg Police Department’s impound lot, accessed through the back of the building’s second level, and the VCVB entrance will be completely separate and at street level, relieving access concerns expressed at the meeting.

Parking was another concern Seratt said would be resolved through requesting reserved parking spots from the city and using downtown’s surrounding parking.

Board member Bess Averett made the official motion, which was passed without opposition, to accept the five-year lease agreement “so (they) can get settled somewhere permanently.”

The board also approved $15,000 be moved from the attraction development fund for new furniture and renovations that extend beyond the terms of the lease agreement, including the creation of one wall and the relocation of another.

“Everybody’s perfectly okay (with this move),” Seratt said. “We’ve been in a trailer and then a place with no air conditioning. We want to be able to do our jobs. We take a great deal of pride in what we do, and we want our offices to reflect the quality of work that we do.”