Visitors approaching Sudbury on Highway 69 may have noticed the welcome centre isn't very welcoming, now that its windows are papered over and its sign is removed.

Sudbury City Council cut funding to the main visitors centre earlier this year in a move Coun. Doug Craig said will save the city $6,000 in operational costs — and potentially $50,000 more in upgrades and repairs.

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Sudbury councillor Doug Craig. (Kate Rutherford/CBC)

The building is not empty, however.

The executive director of the Northeastern Ontario Tourism Association still works there, but Donna Macleod said visitors can't expect any help.

"We are a brand new organization that is marketing and promoting northeastern Ontario — on behalf of the province — and we are being housed here as a guest of the city of Sudbury until October," she said, adding that a co-worker also uses the building as office space.

Mcleod said the tourism group gets provincial funding and contributions from its partners, which include "contributions from the communities based on their population, and that helps us to market the area."

Both Craig and Mcleod noted the four-laning of Highway 69 will make the visitor centre obsolete in a few years.