Main Street Dresden Visitor Center will be a tourism and community hub

ZANESVILLE — Dresden & Company recently unveiled a new community hub in downtown Dresden to turn the village’s main street into a tourist destination.

The intention is to get people to come and experience what there is to do in the small village known for its downtown shopping district. It will be a showroom for the basketry company’s products, said founder Jim Lepi, but the idea is for it to become a hub for locals and new visitors to the village of 1,650.

Dresden & Company:The local basket tradition continued with an American-made collection

Similar to a visitor’s desk, this will be a place where buses can drop off tourists. The showroom with items to buy sets the scene at 416 Main Street, but there are also meeting spaces that can be used by anyone. Tourist information about the area is also available for those looking for it.

The showroom has community meeting spaces open to everyone.

Dresden & Company and other local officials say it is another must-have to revitalize downtown Dresden and attract people from near and far.

The shopping district once had a visitor center, “but we haven’t had one for years,” Lepi said.

“With this, we want (visitors) to look at our products, but we also want them to know that Dresden’s basket industry has not gone away,” he said. “We know that to be successful, we are going to have to innovate.”

Dresden & Company opened in 2019 following the closure of Longaberger. He continued the village basket tradition left vacant by the closure, and Dresden & Company employs many former Longaberger employees.

The company’s main facility down the street offers tours, but it had yet to offer a storefront-style location open to the public with items typically purchased through a landlord , from a catalog or online.

“Main Street is essential to us. Historically and philosophically. Main Street is essential to all small towns, and it’s where the action is,” said Michael Kennedy, creative director of Dresden & Company.

Kennedy said the showroom has always been part of the plan since the basket company was founded two years ago.

“(The visitor center) is good for the community and it will attract people,” said Dana Matz, president of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce. “Our visitors’ office promotes visiting Dresden in several states. It is therefore an opportunity for people to rediscover Dresden.”

The Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information visit Dresden & Company website.

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