Visitors to Sherman have a new first destination in the city’s downtown area.

The city held a grand opening celebration for its new tourism office location at 100 N. Travis Street Tuesday. The office is located in a newly renovated space in Sherman’s historic downtown area. The space was packed with city officials, business owners and residents on Tuesday to celebrate the official opening. Mayor David Plyler said downtown has always been the desired destination for a visitors center.

“This is a culmination of a lot of work by a lot of different people,” Plyler said. “When we first started talking about the location of our visitors center, we wanted it to be downtown to show off the hard work and financial investment from everyone who is down here. I feel like we have done that and this is a great example of the city coming alongside our businesses and showing support.”

Downtown Sherman NOW Executive Director Karen Tooley said she believes the tourism office is vital for the city of Sherman.

“This event is important because it builds our downtown,” Tooley said. “To have a Main Street program in Sherman is so wonderful. It helps so many different business owners. It helps the whole community because downtown belongs to all of us.”

Plyler explained the goal of the new office was to create somewhere welcoming for visitors.

“For most folks, this may be the first place that they stop when visiting our town,” Plyler said. “So we want it to be nice. We wanted it to be a place that you want to be. I think we have accomplished that.”

In addition to welcoming visitors to Sherman, the office will serve as a central location for booking local venues such as the Municipal Ballroom, Oliver Dewey Mayor Gazebo Stage and Kidd-Key Auditorium.

“We offer many different services, some of which used to take place in the municipal building or different departments over the years,” Sherman Tourism/Main Street Manager Sarah McRae said. “It’s so much easier just to combine them into one place that’s easy for people to find and know what to expect there.”

Until recently, A Touch of Class Antique Mall has served as the city’s visitor center.

“We work in conjunction with A Touch of Class, who has been acting as our visitor center for so long,” McRae said. “They have wonderful availability and hours. They have wonderful things to see and they have a little museum. We definitely don’t want to take that away.”

The hours of operation for the new tourism location are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, McRae said when the tourism department has meetings to attend, there may not be anyone in the office during that time. She explained they want to be available and welcoming for anyone who needs help as often as possible.

“This is a place for visitors to figure out where they want to go and what they want to do,” McRae said. “We want to be able to point them in the right direction. We can give them maps to guide their way in downtown. This has been a long time coming, and we are so excited to be here and welcoming people to Sherman.”