New Mooresville visitors center targets I-77 motorists

Hoping to capture more of the 55,000 motorists who pass through Mooresville on Interstate 77 each day, the Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau on Thursday celebrated the opening of its new headquarters at LangTree Lake Norman.

The nearly $1 billion LangTree mixed-use community overlooks the lake at I-77 Exit 31 in southern Iredell County.

The bureau’s move from downtown Mooresville, which is five miles to the north, offers an easier way for visitors to get to the bureau, Executive Director Leah Mitcham said.

“Our mission is to attract people to Mooresville, and we just felt that being close to the interstate makes us a lot more accessible,” Mitcham said at the bureau’s LangTree ribbon cutting on Thursday.

A touch-screen kiosk at the new location, on Landings Drive off Langtree Road, provides 24/7 access to Mooresville visitor information via the bureau’s website, including restaurants, hotels, NASCAR shops, recreational areas and other attractions.

The bureau will occupy its new 1,500- to 1,600-square-foot LangTree space until a permanent home for its Visitor Center is built near the Shell station in LangTree, in a 2,000- to 2,400-square-foot building that will face I-77.

Mooresville ranks 13th in visitor spending in the state.

Visitors to Iredell County spent about $205 million of the $20 billion in tourist dollars statewide in 2013, according to figures from the Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

That spending generated $31 million in payroll for Iredell County residents, $11 million in state tax receipts and $6 million in local tax receipts, according to the bureau.

Bureau officials expect LangTree Lake Norman to boost those figures as the development grows over the years.

LangTree’s six five-story luxury apartment buildings are 60 percent occupied, with 90 percent of first-floor retail space leased, LangTree officials said. The 300 first-phase apartments are one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom.

Future phases call for at least 66,000 square feet for offices and at least an additional 50,000 square feet of retail-restaurant space.

Charlotte-based SwimMAC Carolina, meanwhile, will launch a three-year, $6 million campaign on Sept. 6 to build an Olympic-caliber, 51,000-square-foot aquatic center at LangTree and expand existing locations, David Marsh, SwimMAC CEO and director of coaching, said at the ribbon cutting. SwimMAC hopes to start construction by late fall and finish in nine months to a year.

Construction of a 12-story, 227-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Center could begin late this year or early in 2015, LangTree officials said.