EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a weekly column provided by the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau that discusses the tourism events on the horizon.
This past week, the governor’s new choice to lead Illinois Tourism was introduced to the industry at the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Chicago. Cory Jobe, a longtime staffer for the late Judy Barr Topinka, recently received the appointment from Rauner to lead the Illinois Office of Tourism. Jobe is well-versed in Illinois, having traveled the state for his work for Topinka. Personally, I have met with Cory many times in this region and he understands the potential this region and Illinois holds for economic development through tourism. Jobe has also been in attendance for a majority of the state tourism conferences in the past, and again, well acquainted with our region. We have sincerely enjoyed the enthusiasm and successes of the most recent director, Jen Hoelze, and we are excited for the opportunities Jobe brings to the table. The Alton Regional CVB looks forward to working with a new administration to advance the industry to new heights for Illinois, our quality of life and to help bring Illinois back. Welcome aboard, Cory!
Your CVB attended the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Tourism as well this past week. Our sales, marketing and finance team attended the conference to learn more about the latest trends in destination marketing. This show always energizes your tourism staff, coming back on a high to do more for our communities and work diligently to raise the economic impact of tourism on the Meeting of the Great Rivers Region.
As we take a quick peek back at the start of 2015, it already has some great highlights. The eagle watchers have come out by the thousands to flock to our eagles and programs. We still have a few weeks left of eagle season, and the visitors are planning their trips for major events like the Masters of the Sky Eagle Festival at the National Great Rivers Museum over Valentine’s Day Weekend. So, grab your sweetie and make your plans and reservations locally for Valentine’s Day, which this year falls on a Saturday.
The fourth annual Alton Restaurant Week wrapped up on Jan. 25 and was a great success for our 16 participating restaurants. The tallies are still coming in, but all of the reports we hear were great for sales and dining delights for visitors. At the Alton Visitor Center, we distributed more than 700 commemorative glasses thanks to a partnership with Fritz Distributing and Boulevard Beer. People are already asking about our All-Star Restaurant Week in July during the baseball all-star break. Keep your eyes peeled for details soon.
So, as we get through the final push of winter, we encourage you to check out www.VisitAlton.com for all of your ideas on where to go for quality fun and experiences this season. We’re excited about the spring and what’s on tap for the rest of 2015!
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.