EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a monthly column provided by the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau that discusses the tourism events on the horizon.
The colors of the season are coming into full bloom.
We have been running about two weeks ahead in our fall color glory but believe this will just be a sign of an extended season of color. However, Mother Nature gets the final call on this one. We currently sit at about 25 percent color change in our region. To stay up to speed on our quick-changing colors, please follow us at www.Facebook.com/VisitAlton or Twitter handle @VisitAlton or Instagram @VisitAlton or even on the website at www.VisitAlton.com/FallColors.
We have been blessed this fall season with visitors from media outlets. This month alone, we are welcoming guests from Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, Indianapolis, Michigan, Washington and Florida. The types of information each are seeking vary. For instance, three of them specialize in Instagram photojournalism and have up to 500,000 followers each. Another writer is publishing for Expedia and needs information for our region to have more detail for travelers. This is a high number of journalists in one month, but October is one of the best months to visit our area.
Over the past month, we have had many great fall festivals that celebrate the culture of our region. Everything from Old Settlers Day, which is going on this weekend in Kampsville, to the many events at the Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater have made this a quite successful fall to date. This past weekend, we held a great triathlon in Alton with more than 500 participants from 23 states. The group is excited to bring back this event next year in hopes of doubling the attendance.
On our business fronts, we have been blessed with our economy holding strong. We are very excited to have out-of-town visitors and workers here as part of the Phillips 66 “turnaround” work taking place. These workers are eating at our restaurants and bars and many are staying the night in our hotels. Mostly as midweek stays, these really help sustain our tourism product and are vital to our long-term growth and success as an industry of tourism.
While it feels like fall has just begun, it will only be a few weeks until we are in full holiday and eagle-watching modes here at the CVB. Please carve as much time out of your week to enjoy our full glory of the season. Check out all of the possibilities at www.VisitAlton.com.
Stawar is president and CEO of the CVB, which works for the vested interests of hospitality partners in northwestern Madison County and all of Jersey and Calhoun counties.