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Welcome booth set-up on Stephen Avenue Walk to assist in finding local fun

If you’ve ever found yourself looking around Stephen Avenue wondering what possible opportunities for entertainment exist – there’s a new hub for that.

On June 15, Tourism Calgary launched The Welcome Hub on Stephen Avenue Walk in the downtown core. 

Tourism Calgary welcomed guests to come and celebrate the launch of The Welcome Hub by playing games, winning prizes, listening to live local entertainment and entering their staycation contest. The hub is available to both locals and visitors to help all have an experience-filled summer. 

The Welcome Hub is a semi-permanent pop-up booth intended to help enhance visitors’ experience in Calgary. The booth is open until August 31, 2023. 

“My role is to make sure that when guests arrive in our city, they have an amazing experience and that they experience as much as possible when they’re here,” said Shelly Zucht-Shorter Vice President of Destination Experience and Services. 

Tourism Calgary is working in partnership with the Calgary Downtown Association to bring helpful insights and valuable suggestions to visitors right in the city’s core. 

“This is really the heart of the city for us, so we feel like this is a great place to kick it off,” said Zucht-Shorter. 

The Welcome Hub will be located near 120, 8 Avenue SW, Tuesday to Sunday between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Tourism Calgary staff member, Jacob Squirrell plays a game of bean bag toss at The Welcome Hub launch on Thursday June 15, 2023. ISABELLA WEST / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Staff at The Welcome Hub can provide visitors with information about current events in the city, advice on must-see attractions, restaurant suggestions, shuttle booking assistance, brochures, maps and tailored itineraries.  

If visitors need further assistance during the hours that the booth is not available, Tourism Calgary provides a live chat that anyone can connect with. 

Visitors Reaction

Mark Garner, Executive Director of the Calgary Downtown Association, said that it was important to uphold a partnership with Tourism Calgary because tourism plays a key role in attracting people to downtown. 

“We wanted to bring a little more concierge or engagement service to the downtown,” said Garner. 

The Calgary Downtown Association is focusing on improving the downtown core and building the consumer and community confidence that downtown is ready to welcome people back. 

“I think that’s what we want to see is … that everybody that comes to the downtown core has this potential opportunity to engage and make a connection with downtown Calgary,” said Garner. 

According to Garner, six or seven new restaurants have opened downtown in the last six months, showing that investments are being made and opportunities for people to discover new businesses are unfolding.

Brandon Montgomery and Stevan Johnson from Washington D.C. were in Banff for a work conference and decided to visit Calgary.

They said they loved the walkability of the city but that they were at a loss for what to do and where to go. 

“It’s really pretty but it’s confusing,” said Johnson.  

As they were walking Stephen Avenue, they stumbled across The Welcome Hub and were provided with much-needed information. 

“We have a map; there’s museums, where we’re going to dinner and where we can park. It’s been very helpful,” said Johnson.