Travel & Tourism
New Missouri Welcome Center Opens PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Sarah Luebbert   
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:09
Travelers to Missouri Welcomed At New Center

Jefferson City, Mo. — Just in time for the peak of the summer travel season, the Missouri Division of Tourism (MDT) is opening a new Official Missouri Welcome Center in northwest Missouri, on southbound I-29, near Rock Port. The new facilities replace the former building, which dated to the 1930s.

Officials with MDT will join those from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. June 27 at the Rock Port Welcome Center; the public and the media are invited to attend.

“The new, modern facilities offer a comfortable resting point, assisting our travelers as they explore familiar and new treasures in Missouri,” said Beverly King, supervisor of the Rock Port Welcome Center. “We highlight local and state-wide lodging, attractions, dining options, state parks and historic sites, museums and hidden treasures off the beaten path to help travelers find enjoyable activities throughout Missouri. We are here to provide a welcome and to offer suggestions of how they might enjoy their journey."

In addition to information highlighting Missouri's tourism assets, the center includes an expanded parking area, picnic sites, a play area for children, and restroom facilities.

“Our welcome centers and staff play an important role contributing to Missouri’s economy,” said Katie Steele Danner, director of Missouri Division of Tourism. “Last year, Missouri welcomed more than 36 million visitors. Research shows travelers who stopped in at one of our welcome centers spent more time and more money in Missouri than they had originally planned. This concierge service is helpful to our guests, and our staff offers relevant travel suggestions."

During the opening ceremonies, the city of Rock Port will be recognized for its contribution to the facility. MoDOT officials will rededicate the center in honor of Senator Hardin Cox and will unveil a Blue Star Memorial Highway bronze marker.

The Division of Tourism operates six additional Official Welcome Centers: Joplin, beside I-44; Kansas City, on I-70; Hayti, beside I-55; Eagleville, along I-35; Hannibal, on Route 61; and St. Louis, off of I-270 North.

About the Missouri Division of Tourism
The Missouri Division of Tourism (MDT) is the official tourism office for the state of Missouri dedicated to marketing Missouri as a premier travel destination. Established in 1967, the Missouri Division of Tourism has worked hard to develop the tourism industry in Missouri to what it is today, an $11.2 billion industry supporting more than 279,000 jobs and generating $627 million in state taxes in Fiscal Year 2011. For every dollar spent on marketing Missouri as a travel destination in FY11, $57.76 was returned in visitor expenditures. For more information on Missouri tourism, go to

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Grand Canyon Rafting - the Demand is Back PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Cindy Woudenberg   
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 13:59

Grand Canyon, AZ (June, 2012) - Travel demand is back for Grand Canyon rafting trips during the summer months of June, July and August. Historically this has been the prime time for the limited number of commercial whitewater trips available on the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. Arizona River Runners sees this trend returning as demand increases for these Colorado River trips.

If you have a Grand Canyon family rafting trip on your bucket list, now is the time to plan ahead and secure your space for summer 2013. Reservations are normally made up to a year in advance with many trips selling out immediately after they are made available. There are group rates offered for families and corporate groups of 10 or more traveling together.  Now for a limited time, Arizona River Runners is still accepting 2013 reservations at current 2012 prices. To take advantage of this win-win special, you need to act now because it won’t last long.

The popular early season “Hikers’ Specials”, introduced a few years ago, are available for 2013 in April and early May for those adventure seekers and hiking enthusiasts who don’t have to plan their travel around school schedules. These 6, 7, 10 and 12 day white water rafting trips offer additional time for side canyon exploration during the milder Arizona spring temperatures. Many of these amazing hiking trails are only accessible from the Colorado River.

Arizona River Runners Grand Canyon raft trips are all-inclusive; everything is supplied from camping equipment and rafting gear to food, drinks, snacks and more. To secure a whitewater trip for 2013 at 2012 rates call 1-80-477-7238. For your trip of a lifetime don’t just look at the Canyon…experience it from the Colorado River looking up. You may never be the same!

Grand Canyon Rafting









About Arizona River Runners

White water rafting through the Grand Canyon offers a unique view of one of the most popular natural wonders of the world. Experience the vacation adventure of a lifetime on a Grand Canyon rafting trip with Arizona River Runners.  Since 1970 they have provided all-inclusive Grand Canyon whitewater trips with customized rafts, all the camping and rafting gear, and food for your Colorado River trip.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site -- This week’s National Park Getaway PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Adam Prato   
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 13:14
WEST BRANCH, Iowa – This week the National Park Getaway takes readers to east central Iowa to visit the birthplace of the 31st president of the United States.

Ten miles east of Iowa City, Herbert Hoover National Historic Site tells the story of Hoover’s life and achievements, and how a small community opened a world of opportunity to a child of simple beginnings.

Visitors can tour the cottage where Hoover was born, a blacksmith shop, West Branch’s first one-room schoolhouse, and the Friends Meetinghouse where the Hoover family worshipped. Also located on the grounds are the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, the gravesites of President and Mrs. Hoover and an 81-acre tallgrass prairie.

If you visit this summer, you’ll find plenty of activities designed to entertain. The park is hosting a summer concert series on Thursdays through June and family day camps throughout July. If you’re in the area, you won’t want to miss the annual Hoover’s Hometown Days festival, celebrated during the first weekend of August.

Visit to learn about Herbert Hoover and the turbulent era of his presidency.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 397 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Pistol Annies Join Iowa State Fair Grandstand Line-up PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Lori Chappell   
Monday, 18 June 2012 14:44

DES MOINES, IA (06/18/2012)(readMedia)-- Country act Pistol Annies will open for the Miranda Lambert Grandstand show on August 12. Tickets for all shows are on sale now. The 2012 Grandstand line-up is presented by U.S. Cellular.

Trio Angaleena Presley, Ashley Monroe and Miranda Lambert make up the Pistol Annies. They began writing and recording songs together straight away, but barely had six tracks down when they were offered an opportunity to make their official debut on national TV via the Academy of Country Music's "Girls Night Out" special on CBS in April 2011. The Pistol Annies' smoking debut is an album equal parts sass, heartache and hard knocks, sweetened with just enough wistful Southern romance to reveal a teasing hint of vulnerability.

Country music heats up the Grandstand this year. Other acts include The Band Perry with Easton Corbin on August 14. August 17 features country icon Hank Williams Jr. and his "Taking Back the Country" tour. Country superstars Rascal Flatts will take the stage with Little Big Town, Eli Young Band and Edens Edge on August 19. See for the complete line-up.

Tickets for all concert and track events are on sale through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. All concert events are reserved seating; track events are general admission. Beginning July 9, the Fair's Ticket Office will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays - Fridays and 9 a.m. to Noon on Saturdays for walk-up orders only (no mail, phone or fax orders). Convenience charges will apply to all tickets. Grandstand tickets do not include Fair admission.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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"It's a Sweet Thing" at the Corndog Kickoff PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Allyson Krull   
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 08:22

DES MOINES, IA (06/12/2012)(readMedia)-- The Blue Ribbon Foundation will host the sixteenth annual Corndog Kickoff Benefit Auction and Fair Food Grazing Party on Saturday, July 14 in the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate the event's sixteenth year, with a focus on the Fair's sweet treats! "It's a Sweet Thing" to be a part of a night filled with exciting auction packages, entertainment and all of your favorite Fair foods, while helping to raise funds to restore the Iowa State Fairgrounds!

The live and silent auctions are filled with enticing packages. Take in the U.S. Cellular 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series in suite seats at the Iowa Speedway on August 4. See the Iowa State Fair in a new light with a behind the scenes tour of the Fairgrounds. Or, go backstage to meet Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, the Eli Young Band and Edens Edge, plus see their concert from the front row!

The Corndog Kickoff has been a pre-fair tradition since it began in 1997. First held in Pioneer Hall, 480 people were in attendance. Since then, the event has grown to raise over $2.3 million for the restoration and preservation of the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The 2011 event brought in a crowd of 1,300 and raised a record high of $280,000!

"The Kickoff continues to grow and we are looking forward to another great year," said John Putney, executive director of the Blue Ribbon Foundation. "This event plays a vital role in our fundraising efforts to preserve and improve the Iowa State Fairgrounds and we are grateful for all of the support."

Take advantage of the advance ticket price by ordering now. All inclusive Corndog Kickoff tickets are $75 each until June 30. After that date, tickets will be $100. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Blue Ribbon Foundation at (800) 450-3732, online at or at the door the night of the event.

The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has generated more than $85 million for renovations and improvements to the Iowa State Fairgrounds. For more information on the Corndog Kickoff, please contact the Foundation at (800) 450-3732 or



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