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Touch-screen kiosk unveiled at museum

Addition is first step toward Clackamas County Visitors Center

With the installation of a touch-screen information kiosk, the Sandy Historical Museum is moving forward with its plans to become an official Clackamas County Visitors Center. POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - The Clackamas County Visitors Center kiosk is located in the lobby of the Sandy Historical Museum.

Owned by Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory, Clackamas County’s tourism department, the kiosk will remain at the museum on a six-month trial basis while county officials evaluate its performance. It’s the second such kiosk installed in the county.

Bob Boring, president of the Sandy Historical Museum, describes the kiosk as a significant step toward putting the fledgling visitors center on the right path to future success.

“It certainly gets us on the map,” Boring said.

To that end, the museum is at work creating a tourist-friendly space at the front area of the museum. Soon, the museum intends to add amenities such as tables, chairs and a coffee machine to encourage guests to linger and relax over brochures and other local information. The museum also plans to install a neon sign to alert east- and westbound traffic to the presence of the center.

To outfit the new facility, the museum is using funds from a city of Sandy grant that allows $3,000 per year for two years to establish a visitors center.

The first kiosk was installed in October 2014 at the French Prairie rest stop on Interstate 5. Jarrod Lyman, communications specialist for Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs, said that kiosk has the most use the vendor has ever recorded.

“We were so encouraged by the use of that kiosk that we moved forward on our plans for additional locations in the county,” Lyman explained.

While the county has not set any specific benchmarks for the kiosk’s use, tourism officials will monitor and analyze its statistics over the next six months to understand how and what type of information visitors are seeking.

Since the kiosk was delivered three weeks ago, Boring said the museum has already noticed an uptick in guests inquiring about things to do and see in Clackamas County.

The kiosk offers information about shopping, dining and accommodations, and allows users to print maps and information. There’s also a photo booth feature. For a lighthearted touch, an animated Bigfoot taps on the screen to grab the attention of passersby.

With summer on its way, Boring expects a greater surge in visitors, which he believes will benefit the museum.

“As they come in and look at that, we’ll also get them in to look at the museum and maybe drop a buck or two,” he said.

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