Kiosk and Wayfinding Projects
The project is an 8-panel outdoor Visitor Information Kiosk (four 2-sided panels). The kiosk will be constructed and installed adjacent to the Stevensville Main Street Association (SMSA) office and Visitor Center in the Town-owned Veterans Memorial Park at the north entrance to Stevensville.
Grant funds and local matching funds will be used for construction of the kiosk, including earthwork, concrete pad and sidewalk, kiosk structure, roof, interpretive sign design and fabrication, purchase of professional photography, text research/writing, wiring, lighting, brochure rack purchase, and installation. Estimated total project cost is $19,770.
SMSA is the "information hub" for Stevensville and the surrounding area, including businesses and attractions in the Stevensville, Florence, and Victor areas (total population of approx. 19,000).
The Stevensville Visitor Center and Kiosk are part of Glacier Country's regional network of Visitor Information Centers. The kiosk will increase tourism capacity and nonresident visitor expenditures by offering 24/7 access to area information, maps, and business information, incorporating technology such as QR codes, Discovery Agent and other apps for further information. The kiosk will encourage visitors to stop, extend their stays, and spend more time and money with area businesses and attractions.
As outlined in the Montana Destination Brand Research, many visitors to Montana are interested in family outdoor recreation and history. Stevensville has very accessible family outdoor experiences such as nearby developed hiking trails in the Bitterroot Mountains, the paved 52-mile Bitterroot Trail, Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge, fishing/floating on the Bitterroot River, and guided historical tours at St. Mary's Mission.
Moreover, according to a 2016 Report from the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana, visitors to the Bitterroot Valley are interested in nature-based recreation and photography, wildlife viewing, recreational shopping, hiking, history, local breweries, farmers markets, festivals, museums, birding, fishing, and floating. Stevensville offers all of this, plus a charming, walkable downtown with 15+ outstanding restaurants, two breweries, and many interesting shops and galleries.
The kiosk will orient visitors, give them an overview of area history and things to see and do, then encourage them to explore those attractions and businesses. Weatherproof Plexiglas brochure racks mounted below the kiosk interpretive panels will provide maps and brochures to take with them.
The kiosk location is highly visible and ADA accessible. The project is a partnership between SMSA, the Town of Stevensville, local businesses and attractions, American Legion Post #94, the Civic Club, Garden Club, Historic St. Mary’s Mission, and the Friends of Fort Owen.
"While it’s true that wayfinding is about helping people get to where they want to go, it also boasts benefits to brand enhancements and key destinations.
In a world where cities are quickly and easily navigated with a smartphone and information can be found within minutes, how is physical wayfinding necessary?
Wayfinding in urban landscapes proves to be – perhaps surprisingly – critical beyond basic navigation. Identification and information represented in elements such as monuments, directional systems, directories, interpretive and even regulatory signs enrich our experiences with urban environments.
As such, in order to create a successful wayfinding system, the Sign Research Foundation argues that even in an age of smartphones and GPS, physical wayfinding elements and systems strengthen brands by improving the legibility, navigation, understanding, and accessibility of the environment.
Further, such systems:
- Reinforce an area’s defining history, architecture, and landmarks
- Give less prominent districts and destinations a much-needed boost
- Help the public find parking, improve traffic flow and ease the transition between car, pedestrian and transit use
- Reduce visual clutter with clear, consolidated and on-brand information and identity"