TILLAMOOK, Ore. (KOIN) — The old Tillamook Cheese Factory visitors center is closing its doors on March 6 as the owners prepare to build a new and improved one.
Oregonians and tourists have been visiting the Tillamook Cheese Factory for decades. More than a million people visit every year to look at how cheese is made and eat ice cream.
Joy Peck traveled to the cheese factory on Sunday from Rhododendron.
“I like the habanero, and you can’t find it anywhere but here. So, we kind of stocked up,” Peck said.
Another family, the Brouillards, knew this would be the last weekend to enjoy the current visitors center, so they made to beat the crowds and come in early.
A new visitors center will be built in place of the demolished one. This new building will be 50% larger than the current one and will accommodate the 1.3 million people who visit every year. There will be a larger cafe with more seating, a gift shop, better parking lot and “enhanced” ice cream counter.
Peter Papp, director of guest experience for the Tillamook Cheese Factory, said, “We are doing this for them. We had such turnout over the last few decades that we want to make sure we have a brand new facility for the coming next year.”
But never fear, dairy lovers! A temporary visitors center will be open during construction. From March 21-Summer 2018 when the new building opens, the
temporary visitor center will operate on the cheese factory property. The temporary center is a red barn right next door to the cheese factory.
Factory employees told KOIN 6 News customers thought the facility was closing for good and rushed to stock up on cheese curds. The factory store is completely sold out for a few weeks, but they can still be ordered online.