Mayor Stephen Santellana spoke briefly at the ribbon cutting saying the CVB is “ground zero” for many things that happen for the city.
“There only so much a city can do,” he said. “The CVB finds leads and conventions. … There’s a lot of great stuff happening and now there is a great facility to go along with it.”
When the full-service hotel to be built in the MPEC parking lot is complete, this office, Santellana will be within walking distance for hundreds of visitors to discover what is happening in the city.
The main lobby area is designed in black, white and grey with a few pops of color, such as a bicycle hanging from the ceiling donated by Chip Filer, executive director of the Hotter’H Hell Hundred Committee, and a cow-skin run on the floor.
Retail items created by local merchants are available in the lobby, including T-shirts and hand-painted postcards.
On the back wall, visitors can browse a timeline of the city from the founding fathers to present time.
The interior offices flow with a common decorating theme and a personal touch from accents that the staff brought from home.
A subtle yet striking feature of the lobby is a floor-to-ceiling mural on the back wall featuring the Littlest Skyscraper on the left and the Wichita Falls waterfall on the right with cyclists riding over its bridge.
Barker said mural artist Audra Lambert was recommended to her for the job.
Lambert said she has been painting murals since 2013. She has completed several murals on commission for organizations, doctor’s offices and museums, including one she co-painted with another artist at the Museum of Art at Midwestern State University.
The artist and Barker discussed the color scheme and design, then Lambert went to work in September. She said the process took three weeks to finish.
Lambert said the Littlest Skyscraper is a gem of downtown with a quirky history unique to the city.
The waterfall, she said, had to be included, with it being such an iconic image.
And, cycling is an important part of Wichita Falls, with both the world-famous HHH race and MSU’s award-winning cycling team.