• Winnebago County Sees Tourism Growth

     
    POSTED August 23, 2016
     

Tourist spending in Rockford and Winnebago counties has continues to rise year after year—in 2015 it reached $349.91 million, a 3 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism.

"We are delighted to see such strong results again this year for the tourism economy in Winnebago County," says Roberta Holzwarth, board chair, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Sustained economic growth is crucial as we transform our region.”

The tax revenue from tourism is injected straight into the community, rounding out at $5.9 million for 2015 alone. The result is a booming tourism and hospitality industry that employs more than 2,800 people.

This growth isn’t limited to the Rockford and Winnebago communities, the Illinois Office of Tourism announced that the Illinois tourism industry has achieved a steady, continued growth in 2015. Expenditures have topped off at $37 billion and the industry has created more than 10,000 jobs statewide.

"Illinois has something for everyone to enjoy, from world-class museums and galleries, to historic sites, rich cultural arts community to professional sports, outdoor recreation and beautiful vistas,” says Cory M. Jobe, director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “Our tourism and hospitality industry are Illinois’ greatest champions, drawing not only new visitors, but repeat travelers as well, in order to support and grow our local economies.”

 

Los Angeles has such a robust food and dining scene, it’s rare to be the first at anything these days. But Benny Boy Brewing  appears to have pulled that off with its claim to be the city’s first combined brewery and cidery. Located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood, just minutes from downtown, Benny Boy is anchored by a spacious outdoor beer and cider garden. Groups are welcome. The 1,200-square-foot cider house is available for private events of up to 51 guests while a full venue buyout accommodates 300. 

 

If you’re considering Santa Barbara as a destination for an upcoming meeting, there are more hotels and restaurants than ever before, along with new flights into Santa Barbara Airport.

Here are some highlights. 

Hotel News

Palihouse Santa Barbara, a 24-room boutique hotel in the historic Presidio neighborhood has opened. Offering a “vintage preppy meets American Riviera vibe,” total group buyouts are available, as well as outdoor entertaining space for intimate events.

 

By a number of measures, hotels are doing well in San Francisco.  For starters, occupancy rates, according to preliminary data, were 67.2% for the month of April, with average daily room rates just above $225. As the San Francisco Travel Association notes, those numbers point to the best-performing month for San Francisco hotels since pandemic restrictions were put in place in March 2020.