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Visitors Center gets $5K facelift
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The chamber hopes to make a better first impression on visitors by giving the Covington/Newton County Visitors Center a facelift.

The Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce paid $5,675.50 to Ron Smith Landscaping to redo the exterior of the visitors center, including:

• Removing the old shrubbery and a dead tree and replacing them with multiple kinds of flowers and grasses and laying down fresh pine straw

• Replacing the ivy (which snakes and wasps would make home) in the two large planters out front and placing decorative rocks

• Installing an irrigation system so the plants don’t have to be hand watered

• Landscaping around the sign at the entrance to the parking lot

• Placing pine straw around the crape myrtles along the street.

"Since the visitors center is the gateway to Covington and Newton County for visitors and newcomers, we felt we needed to make a better first impression," said tourism director Clara Deemer. "Also, when the First Presbyterian Church made their beautiful garden next door to the center, we realized how bad our non-existent landscaping looked. We had several bids from chamber members and went with the bid of $5,675.50 from Ron Smith Landscaping."

The visitors center contains information about many local attractions and has information about several local home and filming tours and is also the meeting place for the popular "The Vampire Diaries" tours offered by Mystic Falls Tours.

For more information about tourism in Newton County, visit the newly created tourism website at