The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the new Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center and Eastern National park store took place in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on October 20, 2018. Housed within the new state-of-the-art visitor center, the Eastern National store carries a wide selection of high-quality educational publications and unique interpretive items that help tell the story of Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first successful airplane flight in 1903.
Designs for the store were developed closely with the National Park Service. EN Merchandising and Store Design Manager Karen Peters incorporated the same wood planking and sand “swoop” design details that were used in the park’s new visitor center into the EN store’s fixtures. She also ensured the EN store’s wall cases and signage complemented and matched the style of the park’s museum exhibits. This achieves a cohesive look and feel as visitors move between the park and store and enhances the park experience as well. The renovation also expanded the park store by 200 square feet, offering more space for visitors to browse and purchase items that will help support the park.
“I am thrilled we were able to collaborate with our Eastern National partners to ensure that their new store layout complements and integrates well with the design of the Wright Brothers Visitor Center renovation,” says Superintendent Dave Hallac. “The new visitor center and exhibits, coupled with the new Eastern National store, will provide a seamless, high-quality visitor experience that will educate and inspire almost a half-million visitors annually.”
Eastern National also introduced the Junior Aviator Store, a new concept that incorporates a product demonstration and activity space for visitors with a retail space that focuses on items selected just for kids and families. As always, purchases at both EN retail locations directly support the park.
Photo: Cutting the ribbon on Eastern National’s newly renovated store (left to right): Jin Prugsawan, Wright Brothers National Memorial lead park ranger; Brenda Cummins, EN Coastal Mid-Atlantic regional manager; Megan Shelley, EN chief operations officer; Mary Doll, Outer Banks Group chief of interpretation; Dave Hallac, Outer Banks Group superintendent; Bob Vogel, NPS Southeast Region director; Kevin Kissling, EN president and CEO; Jessica Green, Outer Banks Forever director; Karen Peters, EN merchandising and store design manager; Karin Burnette, EN Coastal Mid-Atlantic assistant regional manager; and Tonya Michael, EN site manager.
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