Press Releases

New Avenida Houston Welcome Center, a Gateway to the City

Houston • July 26, 2019

The most recent addition to Avenida Houston convention and entertainment campus is the long-awaited Welcome Center which features three distinct experiences: the city’s official Welcome Center; Launch, a retail outlet; and Avenida Eats, a grab-and-go eatery. Located inside the George R. Brown Convention Center, the new Welcome Center is accessible from the building or the outside plaza. The Welcome Center celebrates its grand opening Friday, July 26, 2019.

Houston First Corporation (HFC) will manage the center to help visitors discover the greater Houston area’s well-known attractions as well as its hidden gems. A knowledgeable staff member can assist visitors with signing up for guided tours, making reservations, or purchasing tickets through the Marketplace which curates the best of Houston’s cultural attractions and things-to-do into unique experience passes.

Launch started in Partnership Tower as a temporary retail pop-up during Super Bowl LI to highlight the creations of local designers and artisans. In addition to traditional souvenirs, Launch will provide shoppers with a variety of original products including apparel, handmade jewelry, purses, soaps, teas and much, much more. Relocating to the new Welcome Center will bring additional traffic giving local designers more exposure. 

What would a Houston Welcome Center be without food? The onsite eatery, Avenida Eats will give visitors to the Welcome Center a number of affordable and tasty grab-and-go options for food and refreshments. The menu, created by Chef Ed de la Garza was designed for a quick, affordable, but tasty dining experience. Budget conscious families or individuals attending one of the many events inside the George R. Brown, outside on Avenida Plaza, at Discovery Green, or even a game at one of the nearby stadiums won’t have to sacrifice quality for convenience.

“What a great way to promote our city, our region and our state. We want to make sure all visitors get information that inspires them to explore Houston and experience the amazing things our city has to offer, and we know the new Welcome Center will help us to do that,” said Brenda Bazan, president & CEO Houston First Corporation. “And with nearly 22 million visitors coming to Houston last year, I’m very pleased that we will continue to offer talented local designers an opportunity to showcase their products to the world. It’s the kind of win-win-win the Houston First team prides itself on achieving.”