Visitors Bureau installs tourism kiosks around Cadillac

Two tourism kiosks that were recently installed near the Cadillac Commons White Pine Trailhead pavilion. Additional kiosks have been placed around the city as part of the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau’s efforts to increase public awareness of local amenities and recreation.

CADILLAC — Newly installed tourism kiosks could make navigating the trails, parks and downtown amenities of Cadillac easier for both visitors and residents.

Last year, the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau began the brainstorming process to try and bring more tourism information to the public. CAVB Executive Director Kathy Morin said the bureau initially planned to start up an information center, but through more discussion, she and her team realized it would be more effective to put their resources where the people are.

“We do have a lot of brochures and information out in the community at all the lodging properties, and in some other places, but we felt that these kiosks are also going to be more focal points in other common areas,” Morin said. “Like for example, City Park, the White Pine Trailhead and Kenwood Park.”

Kiosks have also been placed outside the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce, the Chestnut Boat Launch and the CAVB office. Some indoor and outdoor wall mounts have also been placed at the Pointe West Plaza and Evergreen Resort. The signage design and construction was paid for by the CAVB, but Morin said the kiosk project was developed through a partnership with the city of Cadillac.

Those who are out and about at these area hotspots will find several pieces of local tourism information printed on the kiosk panels, including a map of the city and downtown area, a list of local trails and seasonal recreation guides.

Also found on the kiosks are QR codes, which, when scanned by a smartphone, will direct users to the relevant page on the CAVB website. For instance, if a visitor were looking for available hotels or cabins, the code would link them to the CAVB’s lodging page.

Morin said the codes are dynamic, meaning they can be changed when necessary. As winter approaches, the codes will be updated to include the most relevant recreation and lodging information. For those without a QR scanning function, she said information found on the kiosks can also be found on the CAVB website

Although nearly every smartphone is equipped with some kind of mapping tool, Morin said it can still be helpful to have a physical map out in the community to identify nearby trailheads or pieces of recreation that are difficult to locate online. Whether someone is just visiting or a full-time area resident, Morin’s hope is that the kiosks will expose the public to amenities they didn’t know were here.

“It’s for visitors, of course, but there’s also a lot of residents that don’t realize what an amazing inventory of assets we have in the community, recreation or otherwise,” she said. “So, hopefully this is a benefit to residents of all ages to look at and find more opportunities to get out and enjoy the community.”

Based on feedback the CAVB has received, Morin has deemed the summer tourism season a successful one and expects that fall will bring the same.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, the organization has been working to boost tourism to Cadillac and its surrounding areas, and Morin said the kiosks are a step in the right direction, along with other projects like the city’s social district. Moving forward, Morin and her team are looking to update current city signage to give its landscape a fresh new look.

“This kiosk project, this is just kind of the first round,” Morin said. “We have other locations that we’ll continue to build more of them out and put them into, and then also working on other types of signage and updates.”