SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced more than $1 million in grants, through two state programs, to support over thirty organizations with promoting and marketing tourism destinations in order to increase visitation and travel expenditures in the State of Illinois.
“Illinois has so many wonderful attractions and events for visitors from Illinois and around the country and the world,” Governor Ryan said. “These grants help local museums, festivals and tourism attractions promote themselves, thereby increasing attendance and helping to fill hotel rooms around the state. We’ve seen over and over again that people who stay overnight spend more money in the community and help employ hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans around the state in tourism and hospitality-related industries.”
The grants were funded through the Tourism Attraction Development Grant Program (TAP) and the Tourism Marketing Partnership Program (MPP). The Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) administers both programs.
DCCA Director Pam McDonough highlighted the importance of working together with local communities and tourism groups. “Tourism continues to be a valuable economic development tool for the state of Illinois. We’ve had tremendous success assisting local communities promote their attractions and events. When more people are aware of the fun and exciting things to see and do in Illinois, they tend to plan ahead and stay longer and, consequently, spend more money. This means a lot of jobs for people in all of the communities around the state.”
The Tourism Attraction Development Grant Program (TAP) allows municipalities, counties and local groups to develop and improve tourist attractions. TAP grants can be used to improve an existing tourist attraction or develop a new attraction that has the potential to draw visitors to generate overnight stays. Grants also may be used for feasibility studies, to plan for new attractions and to fund interpretive programs within cultural and historic sites.
The Tourism Marketing Partnership Program (MPP) provides matching grants to municipalities, counties and local not-for-profit promotion groups for projects that promote and market tourism destinations, attractions and events that increase visitation and travel expenditures in Illinois, impacting the economic growth of the travel industry. MPP funds may be used for the production of brochures, advertising, Web site development, market studies, trade show participation and other promotional activities.
A list of the grant recipients is follows:
Tourism Attraction Development Grant Program
Adventure River Water Park, Franklin County received $112,870.80 for the construction of a water park. The for-profit business constructs parks throughout the nation, for example Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon in Florida, Six Flags Water World in California, and Wet ‘N Wild in Nevada, and has completed over 1,200 projects worldwide. The Park will be located along I-57 near Rend Lake Resort in Whittington, Illinois.
Vermilion County Conservation District, Vermilion County received $23,406.70 for the renovation and expansion of historical structures within Kennekuk County Park in Danville, Illinois.
City of Aurora Historic Preservation Commission, Kane County received $50,360 for the rehabilitation of a shelter located in Phillips Park as an interpretive center for the Lincoln Highway.
Midwest Museum of Natural History Foundation c/o Sycamore Chamber of Commerce, DeKalb County received $174,515 to renovate the Museum of Natural History in Sycamore, Illinois. The museum will feature a collection of 350 animal specimens donated by a private collector. The museum will have over 6,000 square feet of exhibit space.
Village of Hartford, Madison County received $150,000 for architectural design services necessary to construct a Lewis and Clark Memorial Tower overlooking the Mississippi and Missouri River confluence.
The Morton Arboretum, Dupage County received $76,000 for the development of a second visitors station designed to make the Morton Arboretum’s grounds, located in Lisle, more accessible and enjoyable for the visitors. The grant will also assist in the development of additional interpretation.
Museum of Broadcast Communications, Cook County received $50,000 for the completion of an interactive exhibit exploring the applications of broadband technology and how that technology will alter our lives in the future. Renovation, expansion and creation of the exhibits within the Radio Hall of Fame gallery, located in Chicago, will be accomplished with these funds.
Chicago Architecture Foundation, Cook County received $118,500 for the development of a display system & professional lighting plan for rotating exhibitions at the Chicago Architecture Center. The design, fabrication, and installation will accompany a video-based exhibit related to notable Illinois architects and architecture.
Greater Alton/Twin Rivers Convention & Visitors Bureau, Madison County received $12,000 for a feasibility study to research market potential of a riverfront conferencing complex in Alton, Illinois.
Tourism Marketing Partnership Grant Program
Illinois State University 2002 Shakespeare Festival received $2,308.00 for print and radio ads to promote the 2002 summer festival.
The Ottawa Visitors Center received $9,796.00 to print and distribute 20,000 2002 Visitors Guide Brochures and Maps.
The Illinois Railway Museum received $1,880.00 for radio ads for beginning of the summer.
The Geneva Chamber of Commerce received $5,509.51 funds to print 110,000 brochures.
The Kaskia Kaw River Conservatory received $7,350.06 funds for newspaper, radio, and TV ads to promote the “Muskets and Drums Muster” to be held at Lake Shelbyville.
The Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) received $20,000.00 for radio advertising campaign to promote the area.
The District, Inc. dba The Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District received $2,172.80 for advertisements to promote their downtown area.
The Herrin Chamber of Commerce received $4,988.36 for print ads to promote the Herrinfesta Italiana.
The Illinois Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Committee received $4,053.60 to promote the National Trail Site #1 in Hartford, Illinois, the new Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, Corp of Discovery Monument, and Camp DuBois Fortress Replica.
The Morton Arboretum will receive a $6,667.60 grant to promote the Museum by placing advertisements in Midwest Living Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and WGN radio.
Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau will receive an $8,969.28 grant to promote the attractions and events in Galena and in Jo Daviess County through print and television advertising.
City of Galena will receive a $39,977.30 grant to promote Galena’s historic downtown area through advertisements on four radio stations announcing to visitors that the town is open during a reconstruction period.
Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau will receive a $40,500.00 grant to promote the region around the Illinois River Country with inserts in the Chicago Tribune and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in addition to radio and television ads.
Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum will receive a $4,993.04 grant to redesign and print 100,000 brochures and place one billboard on I-74 to promote the Aerospace Museum.
Rail Charity Golf Classic will receive a $2,385.46 grant for brochures and distribution costs to promote the annual State Farm Rail Classic golf tournament.
New Salem Lincoln League will receive a $3,408.00 grant for brochures, one ad and bulk parcel service to promote the seventh annual Theatre in the Park.
The Central Illinois Tourism Development Office will receive a $1,557.50 grant to place a brochure ad in the 2002 Illinois Adventure Guide and an advertisement in the Belleville News Democrat to promote the area of Central Illinois not represented by a convention and visitors bureau.
The Southern Illinois Tourism Development Office will receive a $9,103.50 grant to design, print and distribute 100,000 I-57 brochures and 40,000 I-64 brochures, and pay registration fees for a trade show.
The Illinois Bed and Breakfast Association will receive a $4,500.00 grant to design and print 35,000 statewide 2002 Illinois Bed & Breakfast Association Guide Books to promote the bed and breakfast lodging industry and its local attractions and events across the state.
The Canal Corridor Association will receive a $10,360.80 grant to print 100,000 copies of the I & M Canal Passage Drive Tour Map to promote the 75 mile tour from Lemont to Peru, IL.
The Art Institute of Chicago will receive a $7,365.25 grant to place an advertisement in the Illinois Adventure Guide to promote two special exhibitions on view from February to September.
Chicago Children’s Museum will receive a $1,736.00 grant to fund an advertisement in Midwest Living Magazine.
Lincoln Park Zoo will receive a $3,064.00 grant for brochures to promote the Zoo for the summer season.
Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Special Events will receive a $53,760.10 grant for brochures to promote summer music events and the Taste of Chicago.