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Washington state visitor centers await Olympic visitors

With people from all over the world descending for the Winter Olympics, the Bellingham, Wash. area, is gearing up to answer questions from visitors.

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism is planning to add between 20 and 30 extra volunteers and will open a temporary visitor center in a rest area off southbound Interstate 5 near Custer during the Olympics, said Jacqueline Cartier, director of marketing.

The organization also is distributing welcome signs to its members to put up in the businesses and will be sending an online survey to gauge how local businesses were impacted.

With the extra volunteers, Cartier said they are expecting many of the tourism questions to center around transportation and the best ways to get around once people get into British Columbia.

As for the volume, traffic through Whatcom County should be similar to a busy summer day, said Loni Rahm, president of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism.

"We are seeing a steady increase in room bookings, which will translate into more visitors in restaurants and shops," Rahm said.

Read the complete story at bellinghamherald.com

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