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Detroit welcome center needs $200K to stay open

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A Detroit welcome center located in downtown Detroit may close its doors unless the nonprofit that runs it gets new funding.

Officials with the Detroit Experience Factory said Friday its welcome center on Monroe Street may close at the end of the month.

The Detroit Experience Factory uses interactive experiences and resources to help newcomers and locals get more connected to the people, places and projects in Detroit.

The Detroit Experience Factory is considering closing its Detroit Welcome Center on Monroe Street.

It operates Detroit’s community-based Welcome Center and has taken over 100,000 people on experiential tours of Detroit since it launched in 2006.

“Detroit Experience Factory’s tour program has been very successful and will continue,” said Jeanette Pierce, the nonprofit's founder and executive director.  “We’ve had more than 100,000 people on tours in the past 12 years, with the number growing every year. In addition, our more in-depth DXF Institute programming is being very well-received.”

To keep the center open, the group said it needs a $200,000 commitment before March 30.  

“The question we’re asking is: Does Detroit need a Welcome Center?" Pierce said. "We think that the Welcome Center is a key city asset, especially in light of the region’s recent discussions about the continued need to improve Detroit’s perception and attraction and retention resources as it relates to major initiatives like the Amazon bid.”

The welcome center had been funded by the Hudson-Webber Foundation since 2015. However, Pierce said Hudson-Webber’s funding priorities have changed and efforts to find a new funding source have been exhausted.

“We are grateful to Hudson-Webber for their support,” said Pierce. “They’ve been a great partner.”