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Ridgeland Tourism Commission Unveils New Brand, New Center in Renaissance at Colony Park

Ridgeland Tourism Commission opened a new visitors center in Renaissance at Colony Park off Interstate 55. The center, which officially opened Feb. 16, 2024, has a new look and brand, and the new location gives them more visibility and bigger office space, RTC President and CEO Chris Chapman said. Photo by Aliyah Veal 

Ridgeland Tourism Commission President and CEO Chris Chapman was ready for a change. She began scouting for a new visitor center location in early 2022, and she kept finding herself back at the Renaissance at Colony Park. Walking back and forth down the strip, she honed in on a space between Barnes & Noble and an AT&T store.

Two years ago, she toured the empty space, which was a former mattress store. Through her tour, she began envisioning the visitor center in that location. The space had everything she and her team needed. When she got home, she began drawing plans for the layout. Offices here, lighting there, a front desk in the lobby with actual visibility to the person behind it—all the elements that the visitors center at the time lacked.

“The old center … was a rectangle. The boardroom was on one side. All of the art was on another side, and then the desk was all the way at the very end. The desk was high, so the person sitting behind it, you could (only) see the top of their head,” Chapman described to the Mississippi Free Press.

The new Ridgeland Visitors Center is located inside the Renaissance at Colony Park, closer to Interstate 55. Photo by Aliyah Veal

The old center was located in the back of the Renaissance, invisible to any cars or visitors shopping in the center. The new Ridgeland Visitors Center is located off Interstate 55 and features a new look. The official grand opening of the visitors center kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Feb. 16.

“We felt if we could have visibility … we would have a better opportunity to be able to actually meet a visitor, to greet a visitor and get them into our building,” Chapman said at an invite-only press conference on Feb. 15.

Interior designer Lori Driver sat down with the team, heard their concerns and funneled that into the new visitors center in the Renaissance. The space incorporates all the elements that reflect the city of Ridgeland: nature, biking, blue skies, greenery and art.

The inside of the Ridgeland Visitors Center has artwork from the Bill Waller Crafts Center that is for viewing and for purchase. Photo by Aliyah Veal

Artworks from the Bill Waller Craft Center decorate the left side of the lobby, some of them with prices for purchase. Inside the lobby, a “Greetings from Ridgeland” neon sign with a bike and Ridgeland’s bike trail as wallpaper decorates the wall beside the receptionist desk.

“We got that idea from Savannah, South Carolina. We were there for a tourism conference, and they had a greetings from Savannah sign just like that on a wall in the hotel,” Chapman said. “… We (took) our picture with greetings from Savannah, and I said, ‘Y’all, we need a wall in the visitor center with greetings from Ridgeland.’ And we’re like, ‘We need to put a bike under it.’ And then we designed the trail to go behind it.”

The lobby also has a blue couch to match the art on the walls; an interactive Omni kiosk for food, dining and activities in the city; and a desk low enough so that a visitor can see the person at the front desk. There’s also a spacious conference room and even more spacious offices with plenty of lighting. Outside, beside the center, visitors can rent bikes for free to ride the city’s bike trail through the Koloni Fleets app.

The new Ridgeland Visitors Center has an Omni kiosk visitors can use to search for restaurants, activities and shopping options in the city. Photo by Aliyah Veal

Tourism is the fourth largest industry in Mississippi and visitors to Ridgeland spend $120 million annually, which the commission discovered by partnering with Tourism Economics, Chapman explained.

“Ridgeland is one of the best places anywhere to come and to shop, to eat, to stay in hotels. Because of what you all are doing, it gets that word out and helps keep our economy strong,” Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee said at the press conference on Feb. 15.

He recalled the many fights he and Chris Chapman had to endure to birth the tourism commission and he’s proud to see how far it has come since its inception. The city’s tourism industry helps provide the income necessary to provide a great quality of life for its residents, the mayor said.

“We want to have good streets. We want to have a great fire and police department. Great recreational parks. All those things that are so important to make people want to live here, visit here, and have business here,” McGee concluded.

Ridgeland Residents and visitors can rent bikes for free through the Koloni Fleets biking app. Photo by Aliyah Veal

The Ridgeland Tourism Commission partnered with Mad Genius for the new rebrand and ad campaign rollout in late February. Mad Genius CEO Rob Bridges has called Ridgeland home for 19 years and was extremely excited for the opportunity to work with the commission, he said.

“Ridgeland’s story is tied to passion. It’s tied to enjoyment of life. It’s tied to people living their best life—people like you, people like me, people who enjoy living in our city, who enjoy going to our boutiques, our steakhouses, our reservoir and really living the best life possible,” Bridges said at the press conference.

Mad Genius created a new logo, went into collateral design and website strategy, and spent a year exploring the city through photography and video. The advertising company was able to assemble a massive library with hundreds of advertising assets that the Godwin Group Agency will launch soon.

“We are forever grateful,” Chapman said at the press conference. “We have accomplished so much in this relocation, and number one is visibility for our visitors, increased space, ample parking, and a more modern space to tell the story of Ridgeland.”

To learn more about the Ridgeland Visit Center (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 3002) and what the city has to offer, visit

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