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Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center Opens December 17, 2007

December 11, 2007

The National Park Service and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area announce the opening of the Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center at milepost 384 on the parkway on December 17. The center's exhibits highlight the natural and cultural diversity, economic traditions and recreational opportunities found in western North Carolina and along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Center also houses a 70-seat theater, information and orientation services and book sales area. The building itself reflects the cutting edge of energy saving technology. Constructed to LEED certification standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), it features active/passive heating and cooling, radiant floor heating, a "green" roof and other energy efficient features. According to Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Philip Francis "We are excited that in addition to orienting visitors to the region and Parkway, the structure exemplifies natural resources stewardship for the long term." The theater's main attraction is a new movie "The Blue Ridge Parkway-America's Favorite Journey". Shown hourly in high-definition surround sound, the 24-minute film captures a father-daughter trip along the motor road that incorporates history and the region's contemporary sights and sounds. The center's exhibits feature a variety of listening stations and interactive exhibits.

Hours of operation are from 9 am to 5 pm daily. The center will be closed on December 25 and January 1. A grand opening celebration will be scheduled for spring 2008. For more information contact the Destination Center at 828-298-5330.

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