Travel & Tourism
Illinois, Indiana and Michigan to Move Forward on Critical Midwest High Speed Rail Study PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Andrew Mason   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:08

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that Illinois, Indiana and Michigan have agreed to move forward with a comprehensive study that will help determine ways to reduce rail congestion and let trains achieve higher speeds along the Chicago-to-Detroit high-speed rail corridor.


The goal of the study, which will be funded through a $3.2 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration and $200,000 each from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Norfolk Southern, is to reduce passenger travel times between Chicago and Detroit and efficiently move freight through one of the nation’s busiest freight rail networks, the congested Chicago to Porter, Ind., segment.


“This is an important step toward achieving higher speeds along the entire Chicago to Detroit rail corridor and improving the flow of freight to the east coast," said Secretary LaHood. “Eliminating bottlenecks will boost the economy by reducing delays and allow for the freer flow of both people and goods throughout the region.”


An important focus of the study will be reducing congestion by linking a double track passenger main to the 110 mph service at Porter.  The study will build on progress Michigan has already made by achieving 110 mph service from Porter to Kalamazoo.


“The comprehensive study will help us establish faster passenger rail service for business and leisure travelers moving between Chicago and Detroit, as well as make freight movements more efficient,” Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said.  “In Illinois, we have made high-speed rail and freight infrastructure improvement top priorities, and I am pleased to work with our neighboring states and Secretary LaHood, who understands the importance of providing significantly reduced travel times and promoting economic development through rail improvements.”


“This is an important partnership in our efforts to reinvent Michigan, specifically creating an accelerated rail connection between Detroit and Chicago for both citizens and businesses,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.    “Relieving congestion will also help the Midwest’s freight industry by better enabling the rapid and efficient movement of manufactured and agricultural products.”


The Chicago to Detroit line is part of the Midwest Regional Rail Network, which is located in one of five densely populated mega-regions, areas already overwhelmed by congestion and in need of better transportation options.  Bringing safe, fast, convenient, affordable high-speed rail to these areas will create jobs, increase economic opportunities and relieve congestion.


More than 100 million people call the Midwest region home, with the vast majority of residents living within 500 miles of the Chicago rail hub.  Using the Gross Domestic Product as a measure, the Great Lakes-Midwest economic region would be the fifth largest economy if it were its own country.


The Federal Railroad Administration and its 32 state partners are making great progress on High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail projects across the country.  With $10.1 billion in federal funding, they’re moving forward with 153 projects, laying the foundation for a 21st century passenger rail network.



Bruce Carter, Director of Aviation, Quad City International Airport, Named as Chair of AAAE 2012-2013 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Cathie Rochau   
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 13:57
bcarter at aaae podium.jpg

Bruce Carter, Director of Aviation, Quad City International Airport  was just named as Chair for 2012-2013 of AAAE, the American Association of Airport Executives. It’s a very prestigious role, as he will be involved at the regional and national levels, representing the membership of this organization. (I have included the AAAE history below.)

I have included a link to the AAAE release (below).  I have also included his biography which we typically use for introductions prior to speaking engagements, for more detail about his career history.

ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE ( is the world's largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's 5,000-plus members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C., and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities, including training, conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.


Bruce Carter started his aviation career in 1975 as an FBO fueler and later became a charter pilot in Mankato, Minnesota.  In 1978, he was hired as an air traffic controller until the PATCO strike in 1981. Bruce owned a Fixed Based Operation in Clarion, IA, before becoming involved in the airport management field in 1984 when he became the Operations Manager at the Waterloo Airport. In 1986, he became the Airport Director at Waterloo Airport. He was Director of Aviation in Springfield, Illinois, for three years and Director of Airports in Peoria, Illinois, for five years.  Since 1999, Mr. Carter has served as the Director of Aviation at the Quad City International Airport.  Mr. Carter is an Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) and has served as President of the Great Lakes Chapter of AAAE, chaired the NAC and the Airport Ground Handling Association (AGSA). He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the American Association of Airport Executives as Chair, as well as serving on the International Association of Airport Executives.   Mr. Carter is also a commercial pilot, holding an instrument and multi-engine rating, and was previously a certified flight instructor logging over 2800 hours.

Personal:  Bruce is married to Faith Carter and they have two grown sons and two grandchildren.

Born:                            Kanawha, IA

Graduate:                      Waldorf College, Forest City

Airport Manager:          Clarion & Waterloo, IA

Dir. Of Aviation/Dir. Of Airports:  Springfield, IL, Peoria, IL, Quad City International Airport, Moline, IL

Promoting Summer Travel to Des Moines PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Tiffany Tauscheck   
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 08:55

Des Moines, IA – The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB) has now launched the annual Summer Ad Campaign, with several new additions this year.

For the first time, the GDMCVB expanded cooperative advertising reach to include Southern Minnesota/Northern Iowa and digital billboards. This has allowed additional Co-op Partners to become involved with the program.

The ads run throughout the summer in the following markets:

  • Omaha/Council Bluffs –April-May 2012

o   TV/Radio/Digital Billboards – April 16-May 27

o   Print insert – Sunday, May 20

  • Central Iowa – June-July 2012

o   TV/Radio/Digital Billboards – June 18-July 22

  • Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa (including entire state line of counties across Northern Iowa and Southern MN – includes towns such as Mankato and Rochester) – June-July 2012

o   TV/Radio/Digital Billboards – June 18-July 22

  • Eastern Iowa (Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Iowa City, Quad Cities and Dubuque) – July-August 2012

o   Print inserts – May 20, 2012 in Waterloo and Cedar Falls; May 23, 2012 in Iowa City

o   TV/Digital Billboards – July 16-August 12, 2012

o   Radio – July 23-August 5, 2012

New Co-op Advertising Partners include: Iowa State Fair, Jordan Creek Town Center, Des Moines Arts Festival, 80/35 Music Festival and the National Balloon Classic.

Funding of the Summer Ad Campaign is primarily provided by the GDMCVB which reinvests hotel/motel tax revenues into marketing and advertising initiatives to market Greater Des Moines as a destination. The advertising campaign is able to extend into more markets and for longer periods of time due to the strong support of the following Co-op Ad Partners: Prairie Meadows, Homemakers, Iowa Speedway, Valley West Mall, Des Moines Park and Recreation, Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo and Adventureland Inn.

To preview the television ads that are airing in Omaha, Council Bluffs and Western Iowa, go to  Additional ads featuring other co-op partners will be posted on this link in June.

The ads were created by GDMCVB’s new advertising agency, Trilix, with production by Applied Art.


The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote Greater Des Moines as a fun, vibrant and affordable destination statewide, nationally and internationally. Our focus increases visitors to our community through meetings, conventions, sports events, leisure travel, and group tours, thereby contributing to the local economy.



6th Annual Red Carpet Festival – 90 Miles of Adventure May 5 & 6, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Pontiac Tourism   
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 14:13

The 6th Annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival will be held May 5 & 6, 2012.  All along the 90-mile stretch of historic Route 66 – from Joliet to Towanda, IL – there will be a wide variety of events.  Each of the 13 towns located along this portion of the “Mother Road” will offer its unique collection of activities associated with the festival.

In Joliet, the Route 66 Visitor’s Center at the Joliet Area Historical Museum will be open from 8AM to 5PM on Saturday and noon to 5PM on Sunday.  Admission to the Route 66 Experience portion of the Joliet Area Historical Museum will be free during the festival.  Discounted rates will be available on these days for RCC attendees desiring to experience the Museum’s galleries. Joliet Area Historical Museum is located at 204 N. Ottawa St., Joliet, (815) 723-5201 ext 226.

Saturday in Elwood will be “Are You Elwood?” day.  The festival organizers there will be searching for a favorite Blues Brother and calling all Elwoods to the stage at Lloyd Erickson Park.  Live & DJ Entertainment all day at Lloyd Erickson Park will be followed by an evening of live Blues entertainment. Bring your roller skates and have a blast from the past at the Bobby Sock Skate at Lloyd Erickson Park. There will be children’s activities and food vendors all day long and visitors can cruise the village to see the historic homes of Elwood.  On both Saturday and Sunday there will be a special Children’s Garden at Lloyd Erickson Park. 815-423-5011.

Wilmington will be encouraging festival travelers to stop and take a photo with the Gemini Giant, Dino the Sinclair Dinosaur, Elvis cutouts and more.  A  20-mile bike Red Carpet Ride begins/ends downtown at 9 AM and there will be flea markets, music, Hula & hound contests, cockroach races, RC car racing, and food all day. On Sunday there will be  a baby back rib cook-off, morning worship service, a Twinkie decorating contest, children’s games and more.  815-476-5991

Braidwood will celebrate the Mother Road with an extended flea market, baked goods, beautiful hanging baskets, craft displays, food, bounce house, a clown on both Saturday and Sunday.  The Polk a Dot, member of Rt66 Hall of fame, will be celebrating 25yrs in business. On Saturday only, Braidwood will serve as a stop on the 20 mile Exelon Red Carpet Bike Ride on Rt 66. For more information, call Angie 815-353-3053.

In the village of Godley, Saturday will be highlighted by the Cruisin’ Rt 66 Motorcycle Show & Rodeo.  Sunday will feature the Cruisin’ Car Show, and a Sunrise Breakfast.  On both Saturday and Sunday there will be Flea Markets, an Automotive Swap Meet, a Children Pavilion w/ Touch-A-Truck, a bicycle rodeo, a Motorcycle Cowboys Stunt Show, Music, Food, and Entertainment. The Illinois Rt 66 Mining Museum will be open as well.

Braceville will offer festival-goers an opportunity to see the historic town and talk to Alice Creech, historian of Braceville, on Saturday.  There will also be fossil displays available for viewing, and great baked goods from the church.  Stop by Mazonia State Park for some great scenery. For more information contact the Village of Braceville at 815-237-8655.

Historic Gardner  will hold a “Meet & Greet” on both Saturday & Sunday at the diner car & historic jail.

In Dwight on Saturday there will be fun, games, and food, including the 2nd Annual BBQ Cook-off at Bassett Park.  On both Saturday & Sunday there will be town-wide garage sales, and open house at the Texaco Welcome Center.  Call 815-584-3077 for more information.

In Odell, visitors are encouraged to celebrate historic Route 66 with a visit to the historic 1932 Standard Oil gas station where they will find souvenirs, soda & nostalgia!

Pontiac’s Red Carpet Corridor Festival will include the grand opening of a new, special exhibit at the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum.  The display, “Remembering the 1940’s” will open on Saturday for the first time.  Around the downtown area there will be a carnival, an Art Festival, food, and entertainment.  Chinese Artist Tang Dongbai will be creating colorful, original art on city sidewalks, and the Pontiac Jolly Trolley will be giving guided tours.  On both Saturday and Sunday there will be City-Wide Garage Sales and the Livingston County Humane Society will sponsor a Flea Market at the Old Log Cabin.  On Saturday morning only, a Touch-A-Truck event for kids will be held at the Pontiac Rec Center.  For more details, call: 815-844-5847.

Chenoa will feature a Saturday Carnival, vendors, live bands and the Chenoa 4th of July Committee’s Pork Chops.  Sunday will see the Carnival continue as well as a performance by entertainer Anjanel Folkens. Everything is happening at Chenoa Swimming Pool Park -located directly on Old Route 66. 815-945-7779.

Lexington’s Saturday events are being held at Mounce Automotive 302 S Spencer on Old 66. The Lexington Vintage Tractor Show will kick off at 8AM on Rt 66 walkway.  The Zoo Lady will entertain children from Saturday 10AM.- 3PM. At the entertainment tent Elvis is back in town with Lexington School band and singers, featuring Chris Corkery. On Sunday there will be free Unique Twist Balloons from 10AM to 3PM, and a children’s parade at 11AM.  All are welcome to join in! Garage sales both days! 309-365-3331.

On both Saturday and Sunday in Towanda there will be a Flea market, area garage sales, antiques, food, entertainment and Route 66 memorabilia at the North Park. On Sunday only, a car show will be held on old Route 66.  The Cattle Bandits Band will play at 1PM at North Park. Come visit for 2 days of family fun, and check out Schenk's Route 66 Garage!  For information on Towanda’s festival call 309-728-2169.

This year’s Festival Collectable will be a set of decorative keys.  Each of the thirteen towns along the Red Carpet Corridor will have a limited number of its own “key to the city” which they will give to Red Carpet Corridor Festival travelers.  By stopping at each of the towns and collecting all 13 keys, the traveling festival attendee will be awarded a special commemorative key chain to hold the keys.  Supplies of the keys are very limited and will be distributed only in person on a first-come, first-served basis.  No telephone, mail, or email requests please.


Braley, Loebsack Announce More Than $2.6 Million for Improvements to the Eastern Iowa Airport PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Kira Ayish   
Friday, 20 April 2012 12:58

Will allow for runway and taxiway rehabilitation


Washington, D.C. – Congressmen Bruce Braley (IA-01) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02) announced today that the Eastern Iowa Airport will receive a total of $2,644,904 from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration.  This funding will be used to rehabilitate and upgrade the runway and taxiway.


“This is great news for Eastern Iowa. The grant money will help the Eastern Iowa Airport make critical infrastructure improvements ensuring the safety of passengers and employees,” Braley said. “Whether traveling for business or family vacation, Iowans rely on their community airports to be safe, secure and reliable. It’s critical we give Iowa’s airports the tools they need to provide the safest and most efficient service to their customers.”


“The Eastern Iowa Airport is a hub for travel, commerce and economic growth in the Corridor,” said Loebsack. “I am pleased these funds will help improve the airport and ensure they continue to allow for safe and efficient travel.”


Specifically, the funds will be used for:


Runway rehabilitation - $1,500,000

Taxiway rehabilitation - $1,144,904



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