Looking for something fun to do this summer? Whether you’re a resident, a snowbird, or a tourist, there’s a new way to explore Connecticut.
Four highway service plazas now host five-foot-tall I-Pad-like kiosks providing information about the state’s many amenities.
Directions and information can be obtained on over 4,000 restaurants, shops, hotels, attractions, community events, church fairs, photographers, and much more.
There are options to print, e-mail, or text information as well as order and print attraction tickets on the kiosk’s 42-inch screens.
Basic listings are free for businesses and organizations.
“We wanted to give everyone equal access and opportunity for this venue,” said Wayland Benbow, the Director of Leasing for , the contractor renovating all 23 service plazas.
Interested businesses can pay for kiosk ad banners, top placement in searches, and coupons that can be printed.
“We have had over 15,000 people in one month use the kiosk at the I-95 Milford southbound plaza,” said Benbow, adding that its use “outperforms what we expected”.
It is used more frequently than the one at the Baltimore Science Center, a popular tourist destination on the harbor.
“We think even more people will use them as they become accustomed to it,” Benbow said, adding that Connecticut has the most state-of-the-art kiosks in the country.
Local weather and traffic information is available in addition to surveys and green sustainability facts.
There are plans to install one at each of the other 19 plazas, including Montville, and provide links to information about other East Coast states.
The kiosk system has a partnership with the Connecticut Department of Culture and Tourism which operates five staffed welcome centers year-round. They are located on I-84 East in Danbury, I-84 West in West Willington, I-95 North in Fairfield and Westbrook, and I-95 South in North Stonington.
Basic traveler information is available at four which are located on I-84 East in Southington and West Willington, I-91 South in Wallingford, and I-91 North in Middletown.
When asked whether those nine locations would also receive kiosks, Benbow said, "we are constantly updating and improving the product and will roll it out across the state as we build customer base and where it is economically viable."