Grand Opening of the
Silver Rails Country
Visitor Information Center
Depot Inn & Suites Lobby
Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 2pm
Report & Photos by Amy L. Cox
The Grand Opening of the Visitor Information Center located in the Depot Inn & Suites lobby,
was celebrated on the 14th of July, 2011 at 2 pm. There was a really good turnout of visitors and
supporters from Kirksville, Macon, and La Plata. There were refreshements available before and
after the ceremony.
Maria Snodgrass, greeted everyone and welcomed us all to the Grand Opening of the Visitor's Center.
She then introduced Barbara Cepinko, Secretary of the American Passenger Rail Heritaga Foundation.
Barbara spoke of uniting the different attractions in our area together and showcasing them all in
our Silver Rails Country map and in the Visitor's Center. This map was released within the last
3 months and it has already been well received and requested. The Visitor's Center will help to
reinforce that the Depot Inn & Suites is more than a hotel, it is a "destination", where people
can come to stay and do day trips, or just hang out and relax.
In this picture from left to right are Steve Grande, Ray Ivy and Barbara Cepinko.
The next to speak was Ray Ivy, the La Plata City Administrator, speaking on behalf of the Mayor.
Mr Ivy said he is glad to see a new attraction in La Plata and wishes us much success. The ribbon
cutting ceremony was done and then Kathy Adkins welcomed the Visitor's Center into the Kirksville
Chamber of Commerce by presenting the first dollar certificate to Barbara Cepinko and Steve Grande.
In this picture are from left to right: Manager of the Depot Inn & Suites Maria Snodgrass,
Kirksville Chamber Member, Chris West of the West Winery, Chamber member,
La Plata City Administrator Ray Ivy, Larry Whitney, Steve Grande,Debra Boughton, Laurie Love,
Barbara Cepinko, Shivam Surve, Larry Leibundguth, Kathy Adkins, a couple more Chamber members,
Ray Burns, another Chamber member, and Sandra Williams, Executive Director of the
Kirksville Chamber of Commerce.
Silver Rails Country Tourist Information Center Ribbon Cutting Grand Opening Ceremony! 2pm Thursday, July 14, 2011 in the lobby of the Depot Inn & Suites 1245 N Brown St, La Plata, MO 63549, 888-814-3669
The Silver Rails Country Tourist Information Center located in the lobby of the Depot Inn & Suites
at 1245 N. Brown Street, La Plata, Missouri, will have a Ribbon Cutting Grand Opening Celebration
on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 2 PM CT.
Silver Rails Country is a new railroad themed tourist destination promotional concept created by
the 501(c)(3) non-profit American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation (APRHF.org).
Silver Rails Country encompasses all attractions within about an hour or so drive of the La Plata
Amtrak Station serving Kirksville, La Plata, and surrounding communities in Northeast Missouri.
The purpose of the Silver Rails Country concept is to create a nationally and globally recognized
tourist destination. With so many attractions from the local area bundled into a single concept,
Silver Rails Country will gain a notoriety that is difficult to obtain by promoting each
attraction separately. Silver Rails Country is promoting all that there is to see and do in this
region to travel agents, tour promoters and individual tourists across the nation and the globe
with magazine, radio, internet, email, and other social media marketing. Bringing more tourists
into Silver Rails Country will be a benefit to all of the attractions and the businesses in the
The first version of a 24" x 18" map of Silver Rails Country is currently available at venues
throughout the region as well as being sent to interested tourists, travel professionals and
travel publications across the nation and the globe.
In addition to being a destination for tourists and vacationers in general, Silver Rails Country
is of special interest to train enthusiasts and their families. Silver Rails Country is served
daily by the Amtrak Southwest Chief passenger train at the historic Santa Fe Depot in La Plata,
Missouri. Railroad highlights of Silver Rails Country include the Exhibition of Amtrak History,
the Silver Rails Gallery & Memorial Library, the Rail Lookout cabin & deck, the
Silver Rails Event Center, the boyhood hometown museum of Walt Disney in the historic
Marceline Santa Fe Depot, the Steam Locomotive & Caboose in E.P.Ripley Park,
the Magic City Line Mini Train Ride, the Historic Railway Museum and Depot Park in Moberly,
railroad artifacts at the Novinger Coal Miners Museum, the new dinner train in Columbia, and the
Depot Inn & Suites which with its railroad theme and all its historic railroad artifacts is a
small railroad museum in and of itself.
The Silver Rails Country Tourist Information Center serves as a gateway to all of the attractions,
restaurants and shops that would be of interests to tourists visiting the region. Brochures, menus,
business cards and other information is available at the Tourist Information Center as well as
additional free copies of the Silver Rails Country Map.
For further information please contact:
Barbara Cepinko, APRHF Silver Rails Country, firstname.lastname@example.org, 877-710-9063, or visit
A destination concept created and promoted by the non-profit APRHF
(American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation)
Main location of APRHF Silver Rails Country actually at Gallery in Downtown La Plata, but
Silver Rails Country Tourist Center better here at hotel on Highway 63 and open 24/7.
APRHF wants to promote all of the attractions in this region, especially the railroad related attractions,
to train enthusiasts and their families throughout the nation and the world to come visit this area.
Hence the creation of the Silver Rails Country concept.
Though people can arrive by car or fly into Kirksville, the APRHF is primarily promoting people to
travel to Silver Rails Country by Amtrak into the La Plata Depot. For those unfamiliar, the
Amtrak Southwest Chief provides dailey service into La Plata from Chicago from the east
and Los Angeles from the west with connections throughout the nation.
For convenience, free shuttle service is provided from the Amtrak station in Ottumwa, Iowa,
served by the Amtrak California Zephyr from San Francisco and from the Amtrak station
in Quincy served by the Amtrak Illionois service.
Silver Rails Country includes everything within a 60 to 90 minute drive of the Amtrak La Plata Station which
means La Plata, Kirksviille, Macon, Moberly, Marceline, and Hannibal among others.
Major Silver Rails Country railroad attractions include the Exhibition of Amtrak History, the Silver Rails Gallery
& Memorial Library, the Rail Lookout, the historic Santa Fe Depot and the vintage railroad exhibits inside
& outside the Depot Inn & Suites right here in La Plata, the Magic City Mini Train Ride, Depot Park and
Railroad Museum in Moberly, the Walt Disney Boyhood Home Museum in the Marceline Santa Fe
Depot, and the Big River Train Town Museum in Hannibal.
We had to extend Silver Rails Country a bit south to make sure we included the latest addition to
Silver Rails Country: the Columbia Dinner Train that makes its inaugural revenue run this weekend
Plus there are MANY American heritage attractions in Silver Rails Country not related to trains
but that would be of great interest to tourists from around the nation and world in Adair,
Macon and Randolph counties all promoted in the Silver Rails Country map and the website.
So far Silver Rails Country has been promoted in Trains Magazine, the Amtrak National
Timetable, the Missourian, the Let's Talk Trains radio show, extensively on TrainWeb.com,
and we will continue to promote it to bring in tourists from around the nation and the world
to this region.
Please feel free to take copies of the Silver Rails Country Map to see all that is included in this
first version. The next version will go to press in November and we welcome your suggestions.