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Armstrong: Celebrating National Tourism Week

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

The DeKalb County Board recently issued a proclamation to encourage residents to celebrate National Tourism Week, May 4 through 12, in DeKalb County.

Proclamation 2013-03 encourages residents to attend the film “At Any Price,” in honor of National Tourism Week. The board also encouraged residents to explore other local attractions to honor and recognize the significance of the revenue that tourism generates for DeKalb County businesses.  

On May 10, many county residents and visitors from the region lined up to view the long-awaited opening of “At Any Price,” which was filmed in part in DeKalb County in 2011. Not only will the faces and places of DeKalb County be immortalized on film, but we need to recognize the significance of securing projects and events like this for the economic impact they contribute. The film generated $950,000 in revenue for DeKalb County businesses. We also booked 4,500 hotel room nights. That demonstrates how important the tourism industry is to our overall economic vitality.

Many of you have written to us to share your wonderful memories and experiences that were made possible by the film. We thank you all for the heartfelt messages and share these sentiments. Working with the cast and crew was an experience that we will never forget. 

State tourism officials visit

We accompanied Illinois Office of Tourism Deputy Director Jen Hoelzle and Tourism Development Programs Section Manager Cindi Fleischli on a visit to several Illinois wineries in our region.

Hoelzle featured stories about the Illinois Wine Trail on WGN television this week.

One of our stops was in Genoa at Prairie State Winery where we visited with the owners and staff about their unique eco-friendly business model as well as the history of its building.

Check out our Facebook page to see the video.

We couldn’t make it to all the wineries in the region, but they’ve committed to come back again to visit DeKalb County tourist attractions. 

Share your videos and photos

The Illinois Office of Tourism is celebrating National Tourism week with the launch of the new “Magnificent Stuff Happens Here” campaign.

Check out www.ILMagstuff.com or go to the Enjoy Illinois Facebook page to upload videos and photos of the fun experiences you’ve had exploring DeKalb County and Illinois.

Let’s see how many submissions we can get from people enjoying experiences and visiting attractions in DeKalb County.

Your photo or video may just end up in our next Illinois Office of Tourism commercial.

Volunteer as a tourism ambassador

Show your community pride and volunteer to be one of the friendly faces that welcome more than 32,000 visitors for the IHSA state football championships this year. We need everyone to join in the fun and celebrate those that make it to the state playoffs, which will be Nov. 29 and 30 at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium. Sign up to be an usher, ticket taker or parking attendant at www.ihsadestinationdekalb.com. All volunteers will be trained and honored at an upcoming NIU Huskie football game. Until next time, safe travels.

• Debbie Armstrong is executive director of the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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