WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Maryland's tourism office let a lease for a temporary welcome center at Prime Outlets at Hagerstown expire, despite delays in building a permanent $18 million center off Interstate 70.
The state started renting space at the outlet center in May 2008 while the welcome center in Myersville, Md., was closed as part of a replacement project.
When the one-year lease expired at the end of May, the Maryland Office of Tourism vacated the Prime Outlets storefront.
The Myersville welcome center was closed in April as the state prepared to build a new one, which was expected to open in September. But delays have pushed the estimated completion time for the new center to April 2010, said Charlie Gischlar, a spokesman for the State Highway Administration.
Gischlar attributed the delays to rain and a longer-than-expected process in getting erosion and sediment control permits.
He said the estimated cost of the new center is $18 million.