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Rabun County Welcome Center Welcome! by Macy McWhorter Have you ever been to a welcome center? If not, let me tell you they are just as welcoming as they sound. When you enter the Rabun County Welcome Center, you see beautiful pictures of the town’s main attractions and bulletins showing all of your favorite restaurants and places to visit. Staff are so nice, show you everything you want to see, and where to find the places. I got to know the head of our county’s Welcome Center before I actually ever visited the center. Tony Allred is one of my favor- ite people because of his hilarious personality. He gives the best hugs and is just a wonderful person all around. I had a great time interviewing him. In a community like Rabun County, where the econo- my is very dependent on tourism, the Welcome Center is an important part of what we do here. When visitors from out of town come to Rabun County, they fre- quently stop at the Welcome Center to find out where to stay, what to do, where restaurants are, and where their favorite foods are. We have all of that material here with maps, and we direct them so that they can make the most of the time that they have here. It also helps our community because the people who have restaurants, who have motels, beds and breakfasts, and cabins for rent keep the materials here so that we can connect with the people who need those services. We are sort of the connector. We connect the people who travel to Rabun County with the businesses who are already here. I’m the president of the Chamber of Commerce here and the Welcome Center is part of the Chamber of Commerce. It is a building where visitors come. We have a big sign out front in the parking lot and we have a manager who runs the Welcome Center; but all of that is the responsibility of the Chamber of Commerce. 43