NEW GRAND CHAIN -- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $445,000 grant to the Pulaski County Development Agency for construction of a tourist lodge at the Ohio River Recreational Area. The lodge will include a general store and four guest rooms and will be able to accommodate future expansion. Once open, the facility is expected to employ approximately 25 people.
“Construction of this lodge will bolster the area’s tourism infrastructure and create needed job opportunities for the people of Pulaski County,” said Governor Blagojevich. “Travelers to Illinois spent nearly $22 billion in 2002 and we are committed to supporting this kind of development so that we may continue to reap the economic benefits for all Illinois residents.”
The grant is through the Tourism Attraction Development Grant Program administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Bureau of Tourism. The grants are awarded to municipalities, counties, not-for-profit groups and for-profit businesses and can be used to improve existing tourist sites, or for the development of new attractions with the potential to attract tourists from outside a 50-mile radius and generate increased overnight stays.
“As we look at ways to increase the economic impact of tourism in Illinois, it is important that we think in a regional context,” said DCEO Director Jack Lavin. “The lodge at the Ohio River Recreational Area will provide a venue that is not currently available in this area, which will in turn, increase the number of visitors to Southern Illinois and the number of overnight stays.”