The grand opening of the El Mirage Visitor Center took place on Oct 25, 2008. The ceremony, organized by the Friends of El Mirage and the BLM's Barstow Field Office, was attended by almost 300 people who enjoyed a fajita lunch and a firsthand look at the new facility.
BLM-California State Director Mike Pool and Daphne Greene, deputy director of the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, cut the red ribbon to "officially" open the El Mirage Visitor Center
BLM State Director Mike Pool welcomed the many people who made the construction possible and commented that the visitor center was “a great example of how agencies can work with the friends group to make something positive happen for the area’s visitors.” Ed Waldheim, Friends of El Mirage, presented appreciation awards to Mike Pool and to Roxie Trost (Barstow Field Office Manager), Steve Borchard (California Desert District Manager), and Daphne Greene (Deputy Director of the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission). After the presentations, Mike Pool and Daphne Greene cut the ribbon to officially open the Visitor Center.
The El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle Area is located in the Mojave Desert on the western edge of San Bernardino County near the Los Angeles County Line. Receiving more than 83,000 visitors last year, the area provides for a variety of activities. It is visited by people with dune buggies, quads, motorcycles, gyrocopters -- and rocket cars, for time trials conducted on the dry lake bed.
The Visitor Center was largely funded by the State of California and the BLM, and operated by the Friends of El Mirage. The Friends operate a bookstore at the center, sell permits and provide information.