Recently, our own Kaci Osborne visited one of the newest attractions in downtown Peoria—Caterpillar Visitors Center. Luckily, Kathryn Spitznagle, manager of the facility, was able to take some time to talk with Kaci about some of things going on at the visitors center.
According to Kathryn, this state-of-the-art facility was already in the works about 10 years ago, but it really started gaining momentum three years ago before its opening in October of 2012.
She continued, saying that Caterpillar opened the center for three specific reasons. First, for the retirees and employees, because often times employees aren’t able to ever see the final product in all its glory. Second, for the regional community that has supported Caterpillar. Lastly and most importantly, the center was opened for the customers who, according to Kathryn, “are the ones that make progress possible.”
The most popular exhibit is the theater that sits in the bed of the largest mechanical mining truck in the world—797 Mining Truck. The theater features 60 rumble seats that shake and bounce visitors through mining sites located all over the world!
The visitors center also features equipment simulators that give people a chance to operate equipment, four theaters, interactive displays and virtual technology.
The Caterpillar Visitors Center rotates the exhibits and equipment approximately every 10 months and the galleries change every three-four months. So if the last time you visited was when it first opened, you should come back and see the new exhibits and pieces of equipment on display.
And before you leave, Kathryn says you must make a stop at the CAT Merchandise Center! It’s one of the largest gift shops in the area and was recognized by Enjoy Illinois as one of the top-5 gift shops in the state.
As Kaci does for most of her videos, she summed everything up perfectly in one sentence. “From earth movers to seat shakers, the Caterpillar Visitors Center is something you’ve got to see to believe!”
Written By: Andrew Ketterer