New Visitor Information Center Opens in Ronald
Bell Atlantic Spokesperson James Earl Jones Becomes Center's First
May 7, 1999
Michel Daley, Bell Atlantic
WASHINGTON -- Legendary actor and Bell Atlantic
spokesperson James Earl Jones today sampled some of Washington's
favorite tourist attractions at the city's newest Visitor Information Center
in the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center.
As one of the corporate partners that helped the D.C. Chamber of
Commerce create the center, Bell Atlantic invited Jones to be the first
"tourist" to use the new facility, including its high-tech,
The U.S. General Services Administration, Trade Center Management
Association, Guest Services, Inc. and the National Endowment for the
Humanities also helped the D.C. Chamber of Commerce create the
Visitors Information Center to help tourists decide which attractions,
hotels, restaurants, shops, cultural venues and other resources they want to
visit in the District of Columbia.
The center is staffed with knowledgeable personnel and stocked with free
brochures about attractions throughout the city. Bell Atlantic designed,
developed and funded the center's interactive kiosks to excite and motivate
visitors to see more of the city. Three kiosks offer videos and photos as
well as recorded audio and text information through multimedia touch-
screens that are connected to the Internet. A fourth kiosk offers an Internet
Web interface to five Washington, D.C.-related Web sites that are
displayed on a large-screen monitor.
The kiosks provide names and locations of restaurants, museums and other
attractions as well as maps and overviews of neighborhoods. Visitors also
can be photographed, insert their images onto a computer-generated
postcard and e-mail it to friends.
The team creating the touch-screen kiosks included the project sponsors,
architects and content providers, animators, programmers and database
engineers, as well as software and hardware vendors. The kiosks have all
digital video, state-of-the-art, touch-screen technology and high-speed
connectivity to the Internet, enabling them to provide rapid access to
information and e-mail access.
"The center gives visitors an outstanding head start in planning their
tour of Washington," said Marie C. Johns, president and CEO of
Bell Atlantic - Washington and president of the D.C. Chamber of
Commerce. "It reveals all of our treasures and guides visitors to
take advantage of all that we have to offer."
James Earl Jones has appeared in Bell Atlantic advertising for 10 years
and served as the company's spokesperson for four. A star of stage and
screen, his leading roles have included The Great White Hope, Cry the
Beloved Country and Field of Dreams.
Located in Reston, Va., Bell Atlantic Video is a subsidiary of Bell
Atlantic. The unit markets and delivers a satellite-based entertainment
alternative to cable television. It also develops and delivers new media
services that strengthen communications and increase productivity.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the
new communications and information industry. With 43 million telephone
access lines and nine million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic
companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data
services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest
publisher of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies also are
among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.