Travel & Tourism
Governor Quinn Signs Legislation That Will Allow Quad Cities – Washington DC Air Service Take Flight PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Monday, 30 June 2014 13:53

Legislation Will Clear Way for Direct Flights to Nation’s Capital

MOLINE – Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that clears the way for daily flights from the Quad Cities to Washington, DC. Today's action will enhance transportation and economic development opportunities in the Quad Cities area and is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“Getting a daily flight from the Quad Cities to Washington, DC has been a priority I have shared with area leaders for several years,” Governor Quinn said. “These flights will help established businesses in the region as well as those who are considering a move to the Quad Cities. This new law serves as a jobs-producing investment in the northwestern Illinois economy.”

Senate Bill 220, also known as the Budget Implementation Act, expands air carrier recruitment grants to provide the seed money that will make the flights possible. The legislation increases from two to three years the Illinois Department of Transportation’s I-FLY air carrier recruitment and retention grants and increases the yearly grant amount from $1 million to $1.5 million. These increased subsidies were necessary to attract air carriers to airports like Quad City International and commit to providing daily passenger service, in this case to Washington, DC. The legislation is effective immediately.

House Bill 6097, one of the additional budget bills awaiting Governor Quinn’s signature, includes an appropriation of $1.5 million for a grant to the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Rock Island County for the first year of the three-year grant program. The Governor will take action on this bill before July 1.

“It’s a great day when we can all work together to ensure that Illinois jobs remain open and available,” State Senator Mike Jacobs (D-Moline) said. “Under the new law, residents in my district no longer have to worry that the Arsenal might be shut down and how they may put the next meal on the table.”

"When I heard that the Rock Island Arsenal needed a direct flight to DC, I knew we had to act,” State Representative Mike Smiddy (D-Hillsdale) said. “We were able to put aside party and regional differences and create a bipartisan solution. I'm proud to say that this legislation will help us keep the thousands of families that rely on the Rock island Arsenal employed.”

“I thank Governor Quinn for signing this legislation that provides the Quad Cities area with a great tool to help retain one of our largest employers,” State Representative Patrick Verschoore (D-Milan) said. “Having a daily flight between the Quad Cities and Washington, DC ensures future support for the Rock Island Arsenal the next time federal BRAC realignment decisions are made.”

Senate Bill 220 also makes the necessary changes to numerous state programs to implement the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget. Among other things, it increases the personal care allowance for people at long-term care facilities and in Community Integrated Living Arrangements.

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HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS® OPENS IN MOLIINE, IL PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Robin Krogman   
Thursday, 19 June 2014 14:26

Moline, IL (June 19, 2014) — IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, announced today that the Holiday Inn Express®, Moline-Quad Cities is open for business. The hotel brings 100 guest rooms and 35 job opportunities to Moline, IL – Quad Cities area.

The visibility from Interstate 280, Interstate 74, and the Quad Cities International Airport make this truly a gateway hotel,” Dan Huber, Owner/President Frontier Hospitality Group says.  “We believe the Holiday Inn Express brand will have broad appeal to business and leisure travelers who will be able to easily access this very visible hotel,” says Huber.

“Frontier Hospitality Group is grateful to the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Rock Island, Rock Island County and the City of Moline for their support and partnership in helping bring this project to fruition,” Huber says.  “It feels good to be able to do a project in our very own regional community.  Both Bart Baker and Dan Huber are long-time Quad City residents.

Located at 2100 69th Ave, the four-story hotel offers amenities featuring a dynamic lobby and custom designed great room with a modern décor. The great room will also function as a social hub for hotel guests where they can work, relax and network. The hotel also features an expanded fitness room, swimming pool, guest laundry, meeting room, outdoor patio and ten guest room suites.

The Holiday Inn Express brand delivers a comfortable and smart environment with preferred guest upgrades to ensure a productive stay while traveling for business or leisure. The brand’s newly enhanced complimentary Express Start® breakfast bar features both hot & cold options, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, bagels and muffins, fruit, yogurt and the brand's exclusive cinnamon roll. Beverages consist of milk and juice, along with its own "Smart Roast" coffee.

“Holiday Inn Express is a very popular brand and we are pleased to bring a very contemporary Express to the Quad Cities,” says Bart Baker, co-owner of the hotel.  “What will set this hotel apart is the custom design of the lobby/great room area and the expanded fitness area.  This is a hotel that has great curb appeal and will fit in nicely with the modern facilities found at the Quad City International Airport,” says Baker.

Holiday Inn Express hotels participate in IHG’s guest loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards. The industry’s first and largest guest loyalty program has 43 million members.  Priority Club Rewards membership is free and guests can enroll by logging on www.priorityclub.com, calling 1-888-211-9874 or by inquiring at the front desk of this hotel or any of IHG’s more than 4,200 hotels worldwide.

The Holiday Inn Express Hotel, Moline-Quad Cities is owned and operated by Frontier Hospitality Group, under a license agreement with a company in the InterContinental Hotels Group.

About Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express hotels are modern hotels for value-oriented travelers. Fresh, clean and uncomplicated, Holiday Inn Express hotels offer competitive rates for both business and leisure travelers. Guests Stay Smart® at Holiday Inn Express hotels where they enjoy a free hot Express Start® Breakfast Bar, free high-speed internet access and free local phone calls (US and Canada only). There are currently more than 1,900 Holiday Inn Express hotel locations around the globe. For more information about Holiday Inn Express hotels or to book reservations, call 1-800-HOLIDAY or visit www.hiexpress.com.

About Frontier Hospitality Group

FHG is owned by Bart Baker and Dan Huber. FHG owns and operates the Best Western Plus SteepleGate Inn in Davenport, Iowa which features Prairie Grille and 1 Hundred West Bar & Dance Club; the Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center; and Champps Americana Restaurant & Bar in Dubuque, Iowa. FHG formerly owned and operated the Best Western Frontier Inn and Country Inn and Suites in Clinton, Iowa

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Iowa Drivers Can Save $0.68 Per Gallon by Choosing Renewable Fuels PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Aaron Wells   
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 15:49

As Turmoil in Iraq Pushes Iowa Gas Prices Up, American Ethanol Brings Relief to Consumers

As the situation in Iraq comes home to motorists paying higher prices at the pump, the Fuels America coalition is urging greater reliance on less expensive, homegrown fuels as opposed to reliance on the volatile market for foreign oil.  In fact, an analysis of state data covering the past year from E85prices.com shows that drivers with “Flex Fuel” vehicles in Iowa can pay an average of $0.68 less per gallon by filling up with E85, which contains up to 85 percent American ethanol.

Ethanol is a higher octane fuel that improves engine performance.  That’s why it has been added to gasoline for decades and is now being blended at higher levels into the fuels used throughout professional auto racing. Prices for American-grown renewable fuels like ethanol and advanced biofuels have grown increasingly competitive thanks to America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which ensures that homegrown renewable fuels are available as an option to American consumers.

The analysis of data from “E85 Prices” also revealed that drivers have saved as much as $0.87 per gallon at the pump over the past year by filling up on E85. And because ethanol increases the available fuel supply, it helps to drive down the price of gasoline for all drivers regardless of whether they choose a higher blend fuel like E15 or E85.

In addition to saving American drivers money, the RFS has helped to support 852,000 jobs and $184.5 billion in economic output in the U.S. The renewable fuels industry supports 73,371 jobs and $5 billion in wages in Iowa alone, as well as $19.3 billion in economic output.

Meanwhile, violence in Iraq is driving high gas prices even higher than predicted. Mere worries about oil supply issues have already helped drive world and U.S. prices to their highest levels since September. Americans could see prices for regular gasoline jump more than $0.20 per gallon over the next couple weeks as violence in Iraq continues.

Fuels America’s announcement coincides with a paid advertising campaign to highlight the consumer savings the RFS and the renewable fuels industry deliver for Americans. This week, the coalition is running digital ads that ask Americans why we should “let Big Oil pump us dry,” and call on our leaders to “invest in affordable, homegrown renewable fuels” by protecting America’s Renewable Fuel Standard.

Contact: Aaron Wells, aar This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 320-247-7616

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Lt. Governor Sheila Simon: More bike lanes and sidewalks mean healthier, safer transit PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Ken Lowe   
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 10:05

CARBONDALE — To stress the importance of more walking, biking and public transit opportunities, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will deliver opening remarks at a “Complete Streets” training event at the Carbondale Civic Center at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Simon will call for strategic investment in bike lanes and sidewalks across Southern Illinois.

The Complete Streets planning policy is a new approach to local infrastructure that highlights the importance of public transit and pedestrian access as a means of making local transportation safer, healthier and more sustainable. Representatives with the Active Transportation Alliance will provide the free training to local planning and zoning board members.

In Carbondale, the project promotes the use and improvement of bike lanes and sidewalks, said Angie Bailey, Director of Health Education for the Jackson County Health Department.

The project is developed by Smart Growth America. Nine public health agencies throughout downstate Illinois have signed on to the initiative, covering Bond, Boone, Champaign, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Fulton, Henderson, Jasper, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Macon, Madison, Marion, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, St. Clair, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne and Winnebago Counties.

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Harkin Announces More than $695,000 for Improvements to Iowa Airports PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Friday, 13 June 2014 12:30

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded a total of $695,741 to the Ankeny Regional Airport and the State of Iowa for various rehabilitation and planning projects. Harkin is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the subcommittee that funds the DOT.

“Ensuring Iowa’s airports have the resources they need to update, repair, or replace their facilities is important to maintain safety and efficiency of operations,” said Harkin. “I am pleased that the Ankeny Regional Airport will receive this important investment and I look forward to the learning about the benefits of the Iowa state aviation transportation plan study.”

Details of the funding are as follows:

Ankeny Regional Airport: $572,486 to improve the runway safety area.

State of Iowa: $123,255 to conduct a state system plan study.

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