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Tourism Officials Look Forward to Busy Summer

Michelle O'Neill

The calendar is packed with spring and summer events for tourists to enjoy in the Quad Cities and northwestern Illinois. This afternoon at the botanical center in Rock Island, officials from the Quad Cities and Henry County convention and visitors bureaus, plus Geneseo, Moline, and Rock Island parks departments discussed the power of tourism and previewed dozens of arts and recreation events.

Joe Taylor, the president and CEO of the Quad Cities bureau, says tourism is driving Illinois' economic recovery and development. For example, in Rock Island and Scott Counties, more than 7,000 people work in the industry. And tourism has a 812 million dollar economic impact according to the latest statistics.
He listed a number of annual events which attract visitors, such as the Quad City Air Show which will be held the second weekend in May and Museum Week in June.

Credit http://www.qcgardens.com/gardens.html / Quad City Botanical Center
Quad City Botanical Center
Design drawing of the QC Botanical Center's Children's Garden

Ami Jenkins, from the botanical center, says the first phase of the Children's Garden helped attract more people last year, and increased membership 30 percent. Work on phase two of the project was supposed to begin this spring. But Jenkins says since Illinois has suspended grant distribution, the headwaters of the Mississippi River and Sauk Village parts of the garden will not be built this summer. But the center will continue to raise funds and wait for the state's check. 

Officially, Michelle's title for 28 years was WVIK News Editor. She did everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever was needed around the radio station. She also served as Acting News Director from September 2023 - January 2024.
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