North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Arlington Visitor Center seeks volunteers


Christopher Andersson

Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Holocker at the Arlington Visitor Center.

The Arlington Visitor Center is looking for volunteers to help people coming through the town.

The center is located next to Legion Park and the Centennial Trail at 104 N Olympic Ave., in Arlington, and is run by the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce.

Volunteers and officials at the center help those who come to the city or those who are traveling through.

"When they come through, we're giving them interesting information about our town - the history, where to go to eat, where to stay," said Jennifer Holocker, executive director of the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce.

That includes helping visitors with a number of different things.

"A lot of times it's directions. They'll come here after they've gotten lost, which happens often," said Holocker.

People who are visiting the downtown often want to find out more about the town and what to do locally as well.

"It's funny because people will come here for one thing and they'll come downtown and it's such a neat place that they'll come here and want to know more information about Arlington," said Holocker. "And that's what we're here for."

The Visitor Center is a way to help visitors find what kinds of services are available around the town as well.

"It's good for Arlington business. The more we're open, the more people know they can come to us and get the info," she said.

With additional volunteers Holocker hopes that the Visitor Center can be open more often on the weekends and in the evenings.

"We're contracted to be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday," she said. "On a nice day, yes, we see some people during those times, but it's after work or on weekends really when people are hopping on their bikes and you get most of your traffic," she said.

"That's where the volunteers come into play, so we can have them be here during those peak times," she said.

Those volunteer hours are needed more for the upcoming summer as well.

"As the weather gets better there will be hundreds of bikers and walkers that come through here," said Holocker.

The center has around eight volunteers right now, said Holocker.

The main responsibilities for volunteers are talking with the people who come in and helping them with their questions.

"When people come in and ask about the area, we have someone here who likes to talk and can fill them in on all the great things we have going on," said Holocker.

Many people volunteer for about four hours a week, she said, but the center is "totally flexible" for the hours of the volunteers, said Holocker.

Those that do volunteer enjoy interacting with people and learning about their stories, she said.

"It's very interesting. People think it will be boring but it's awesome," said Holocker. "Just a week ago I had someone in here from Australia."

"I had a couple of volunteers put the table outside so they could talk to people just as they are passing by," she said.


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