Lackawanna County plans to sell its visitors center

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MOOSIC, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Lackawanna County is preparing to sell one of its most visible properties, the county’s visitors center in Moosic.

Sitting at the base of Montage Mountain in Moosic, the three current Lackawanna County commissioners say their visitors center is lacking something important, visitors.

They now plan to sell the property which is near the Shoppes at Montage, PNC Field and the local ski resort.

“The current building is a great building, I love the building but the problem is there’s nothing that we can really utilize it for,” Commissioner Pat O’Malley said.

When the visitors center first opened in the year 2000 it was envisioned as a “gateway” in the county.

The center offers pamphlets and information about local attractions and while some say Moosic and Montage Mountain is the ideal spot for tourists, commissioners disagree.

“I’d have to ask, how many times have they been there? I’ve been there and nobody comes in and it really does deserve more attention than it gets because we do a lot of work at the visitor’s center,” Commissioner Laureen Cummings said.

Earlier this year, county officials did an assessment on the property and it is currently worth $1.2 million.

When county offices shuffle around later this year as part of a big restructuring, the visitors center is expected to permanently relocate to the Gateway Center building on Jefferson Avenue in downtown Scranton.

Commissioners hope the change provides more foot traffic since the Radisson and Hilton Hotels are right next to it.

“It’ll be fantastic for us to have those resources just right here within walking distance for our hotel guests. It actually gets them out of the building and already walking downtown so it’ll be very good, it’ll be very good for the merchants downtown too I imagine,” Michael Kearney, general manager of the Radisson Hotel said.

Commissioners say when they sell the visitors center they expect it to go back on the tax rolls.

They plan to market the properties to companies in northeastern Pennsylvania and the Allentown area.

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