The Big Lake Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is getting a new look.

Chamber Director Loretta Epperson said the Chamber will begin the process of renovating their current facility into a full-fledged Visitor Center in mid-October.

“We are extremely excited about this project,” Epperson said. “It will turn the Chamber and Visitor Center into a hub of learning about Big Lake, past and present, in a fun and interactive way.”

The Big Lake Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center has partnered with Museum Arts out of Dallas to bring the project to life.

“The building will be completely renovated into an open space where visitors will take a self-guided tour through everything that makes Big Lake special,” Epperson said. “We will be able to update some of the exhibits quarterly to keep the tour fresh for repeat visitors.”

Epperson said the facility will highlight Big Lake’s geography, history (early, exploration and settlements), the story of oil (oil formation, permeability and porosity, oil exploration, drilling, and everyday items made from oil products), industries, the people of Big Lake and Big Lake today.

“The experience will feature visual imagery, physical touch and audio to make it interactive throughout,” Epperson said. “It is not only ideal for those visiting Big Lake, but also for our local students. It will be a great place to learn about Big Lake.”

Epperson said the new Chamber/Visitor Center will also have an expanded area for businesses needing meeting space, individuals needing access to the internet and a printer, as well as a gift shop with Big Lake themed items.

“This is something the people of Big Lake can be proud of,” Epperson said. “We believe it will be a draw to our community, and a great way to feature what makes Big lake such a wonderful place to work and live.”

Epperson said the project is being funded through Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds collected by the City of Big Lake.

“The City has been very supportive throughout this process,” Epperson said. “We are extremely restricted on how we can spend our HOT funds. This project fits in an area where the funds may be spent, and in the end, Big Lake will have a Visitor Center that will stand out.”

Epperson said interior demolition of the current Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center will begin in mid-October, with the tentative date for completion being set for mid-December.

“We will let everyone know when we are nearing completion,” Epperson said. “We would love for the community to come out and join us for a grand opening when the time comes.”

The Big Lake Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is under the direction of board members: President - J.L. Mankin, Vice President - Dora Carrasco, Treasurer - Tiffany DeLaRosa, Sheri Benson, Cindy Mitchell and Stephen Dodd.