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State-Of-The-Art Transporation Hub To Greet High Point Market Visitors In October

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When market-goers arrive in October, they will be greeted by a new futuristic, multi-million dollar transportation center designed to quicken the pace at Market. Meet the new car-free, carefree International Home Furnishings Market. Called MAX (Market Authority Xpress), the system will simplify getting around the Market from the time market-goers step off of a plane, take ground transportation to their hotel or head to showrooms. “We asked the industry what kind of transportation they needed to simplify their Market experience,” says Judy Mendenhall, president of the International Home Furnishings Market Authority. “They told us they want a streamlined yet more flexible system that runs frequently and reliably. “Some market-goers require it all – transportation from the Charlotte, Raleigh or Greensboro airports to Triad-area hotels to Market. Others want to park and ride. Some just want to jump on a shuttle to go from one major showroom complex to the next with stops at independent showrooms along the way,” she says. “MAX is designed to give the Market community choices, whether you are a member of a major buying team, an interior designer, a sales representative or an exhibitor.” Located on Commerce Street between the International Home Furnishings Center and SHOWPLACE, the $4.1 million state-of-the-art facility is positioned to rival major transportation terminals. As in airports, an information kiosk will list ongoing arrival and departure times for the fleet of more than 20 buses which continually travel 13 routes and log hundreds of miles each day. On a personal note, trained travel hosts will provide one-on-one guidance and assistance. DESIGNED FOR FUNCTION AND BEAUTY Designed by Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce Architects, PA in Winston-Salem, N.C., the plans combine technology and transportation in a light and airy garden setting amidst decorative lighting and landscaping. The first phase adds three bus lanes, comfortable seating for waiting passengers and an octagonal information kiosk. The second phase, set for completion by October 2006, will add the drama of multi-level transparent panels that curve upward to form a soaring roofline for sheltered walkways and waiting lounges. The new octagonal information kiosk will be a permanent structure crafted of masonry, steel and translucent panels, topped by multiple variable information signs like those placed in airports. Color-coded bus bays add a contemporary design element and will help direct passengers. Between Markets, the area will be engineered for staging outdoor events with theatrical lighting and electrical facilities. The kiosk will promote upcoming functions and events. “This transportation system was created expressly to appeal to the creature comforts we all crave during Market. It will move people in an organized, efficient manner while providing an outdoor respite and a calming antidote to the energy rush of Market,” Mendenhall says. “Gone are the chaotic days of placards and a traffic director with a bullhorn. This system will be second to none.” The International Home Furnishings Market Authority was established by the City of High Point to facilitate the biannual International Home Furnishings Market, the largest wholesale home furnishings market in the world. More than 11.5 million sq. ft. of showroom space, located in 180 buildings, features casegoods, upholstery, accessories, lighting, bedding, rugs and more. The Market is attended each April and October by 70,000 people from more than 100 countries. The purpose of the Market Authority is to make the High Point Market the most efficient and welcoming one in the world. Through its web site, www.highpointmarket.org, market-goers may reserve hotel rooms and discover information about discounted rental car and airline rates. It also provides assistance with private home rentals for those who prefer the comforts of home. The Market Authority provides a master transportation system, staffed information booths, and interpreters for the major foreign languages for international attendees. The HOPE mobile care unit, located in the downtown Market district, provides complimentary, walk-in medical treatment to any marketgoer who needs to see a doctor while at the Market. For personal assistance or information about the Market, ask for Market Services at 1-800-874-6492.

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