Happy 15th Anniversary!

"The Sterling Rest Area & Tourist Information Center not only offers travelers a safe and convenient place to refresh; it also provides visitors an important resource for information about this scenic part of our state."

Tom Norton, Executive Director (former)

Colorado Department of Transportation

The Sterling Tourist Information Center has been available for travelers since October 16, 2000. The Center is run by a full-time coordinator, two part-time assistants and 32 volunteers. Travelers and visitors stop in for free material, free coffee, free cookies and free advice from 8 am-5 pm, seven days a week.

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The Tourist Information Center gets an average of 85,000 visitors a year - or an average of 235 a day - who come in to "stretch their legs" and sign the guestbook. Visitors come from every state and many, many foreign countries. However, the majority of travelers into Colorado are motoring from states to the east, including Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois.

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The Center has material and information on display for Sterling, Logan County and every part of the state: Northeast Colorado, Front Range, Denver, Northwest Colorado, South Central Colorado, Southeast Colorado and Southwest Colorado. There are also display racks for the Division of Wildlife, National Park Guides, motel coupon books and several state guide books for Colorado, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, South Dakota, New Mexico and Utah. There are large Colorado and U.S. maps on the walls and Logan County and Colorado maps under the glass counter. The volunteers give out 10,000 Colorado maps every year!

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There are also display boards provided by the Colorado State Historical Fund and Federal Highway Administration which represent the history of the area. The center also offers free WiFi and a public computer, and a television with constant weather information. Travelers also appreciate the free coffee and cookies! All visitors are asked to sign the guest book and that's how the numbers and statistics are recorded. The Colorado Department of Transportation maintains the rest area and the Logan County Lodging Tax Board funds the operation of the visitors' center.

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Stop and visit us anytime!

Sterling Scarecrows

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Although Sugar Beet Days and Pedal the Plains riders have pedaled down the final stretch of the black, asphalt road, we still have plenty of temporary ‘visitors’ around town not wishing to take the yellow brick road to home—because they are already home! The first annual Sterling Scarecrow Project by the Logan County Marketing Committee is still in full force.  You may have seen the Super Hero-like ‘crow on the corner of Fourth Street and Main, or the Yoga-ish ‘crow on the corner of Third Street and Main.  Maybe you have even seen the bicycle parts ‘crows outside businesses on Sixth and Main, or even several of the floppy scarecrow ‘bicyclists’.  Many of the ‘crows were imagined by the businesses they are near, but many were made by a donation from Colorado Creative Industries which went to area schools for students to create a scarecrow for a local business.

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The Sterling Scarecrow Project is an activity that the committee hopes to continue each fall to encourage visitors to enjoy the Sterling community, and see the many sights and businesses that make Sterling worth visiting.  Many communities around the country hold similar ongoing traditions to attract visitors to their towns or cities such as painted cows in Kansas City, MO and painted buffalo in Buffalo, NY; the committee chose scarecrows because of our farming nature, to coincide with Sugar Beet days, and to celebrate Sterling’s two year run of having Pedal the Plains.  The committee does not expect to see Sterling chosen for the Pedal the Plains next year, but Sugar Beet Days and the Sterling Scarecrows were such a hit that they want to continue the creative fall attraction. Kim Sellers, Executive Director of the Logan County Chamber said about Pedal the Plains, “We were lucky to get Pedal the Plains a second year in a row, and because the riders had such a good time in Sterling last year, we were rewarded with a one day ride this year. They loved the scarecrows around town this time around.”

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Sterling Scarecrows is open to any business, and the committee is encouraging all businesses to participate.  The committee’s intention is to hold Sterling Scarecrows from just before Sugar Beet Days until November 1st.  This year, you can still create, display, and enter your scarecrow in the contest, and receive a QR code for visitors or locals to vote via their Smartphone or other QR reader-equipped device. Entry to the voting portion is $10, but you may display your scarecrow without participating in the contest.  If you have any questions please contact Kim Sellers at the chamber at 970-522-5070 or at 970-571-2263.

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This was the first year for Sterling Scarecrows, and although there was a high participation rate with businesses, the committee would like to see it grow.  The committee has ideas about expanding the contest to residences, and there is some fine tuning regarding the list or map of where visitors can see the Sterling Scarecrows and criteria for the scarecrows, but it appears Sterling Scarecrows will be an activity for Logan County’s future.  Watch for information in late spring and early summer for possible workshops on making your own business scarecrow or signing up to rent one of the school made scarecrows.

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