Travel & Tourism
Join us for Winter Bike to Work Day, Jan. 20 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Ted Villaire   
Thursday, 19 January 2012 08:43

On Friday, Jan. 20, warm up with Caribou coffee, tea and hot chocolate from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Daley Plaza in Chicago for Winter Bike to Work Day.

The first 50 bike commuters who come by the event can choose from either a free bike light or a free balaclava. People can also enter a raffle for a folding bike.

Winter Bike to Work Day, organized by the Active Transportation Alliance, commemorates the coldest day in Chicago history--Jan. 20, 1985--when the official temperature at O'Hare International Airport was 27 degrees below zero.

Jan. 20 also marks the opening of registration for one of the best bicycle rides in the nation, MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive. Get a jump on your summer by signing up for this world-class bike ride, to be held on May 27. Save $10 when you sign up for this Active Transportation Alliance fundraiser between Jan. 20 and Feb. 6 at

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America's largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by nearly 6,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit or call 312.427.3325.  

Governor Quinn Announces $3 Million Investment in Rockford's New Multi-Modal Station PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Nafia Khan   
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 09:54

New Rockford Station and Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque Rail Corridor Expected to Support Nearly 700 Jobs

ROCKFORD – January 17, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $3 million investment to develop a new multi-modal station in Rockford just south of the downtown area. The Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan funding to design and engineer the new facility is in addition to the $60 million allocated to construct the Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque rail corridor. The two projects together are expected to support nearly 700 jobs, and bring rail access back to a part of the state that has not seen service in 30 years.

“Investing in Rockford is good for Illinois," Governor Quinn said. "Not only will we create a new station and Amtrak service, we'll create new jobs and attract more economic development to the Rockford area. Illinois residents will have additional travel options and reduced travel times from Rockford to the Chicago area and to western parts of our state."

The total cost of the new multi-modal station is expected to be approximately $12 million, including design and engineering. The Illinois Department of Transportation and City of Rockford will work to obtain the additional funds to move construction of the project forward. Construction is expected to begin in late 2012 on the site of the former Amtrak station in Rockford.

“This is great news for Illinois. Under the leadership of Governor Quinn, the grant allocated for this project is expected to provide easy access for Amtrak passengers to and from the Rockford metropolitan area,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider said. “The new facility also will encourage the public to use transit as a mode of transportation and expand community access.”

The new station, which will serve Amtrak's new Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque corridor, replaces a dilapidated structure that the city of Rockford demolished at its own expense last year.  The facility will support both passenger rail and public transit, which will improve accessibility and air quality by reducing vehicle emissions.

The Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque corridor is planned to carry one round-trip per day with planned stops in South Elgin, Genoa, Rockford, Freeport and Galena. Construction on the new facility and corridor is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.


Southwest Airlines Vacations Offers up to Two Las Vegas Show Tickets and up to $80 off MGM Resorts Vacation Packages! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by John Affebach   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 09:09

ORLANDO, Fla.—Las Vegas is on sale at Travelers booking a flight plus hotel Las Vegas vacation package for three or more nights at participating MGM Resorts will qualify to receive up to two complimentary show tickets. Plus, save $50 per reservation when using promotion code MGM50JAN12 at time of booking for travel January 15, 2012 through February 29, 2012, or save $80 per reservation when using promotion code MGM80JAN12 at time of booking for travel March 1, 2012 through August 10, 2012.

Participating Shows (based on availability):

  • Viva ELVIS™ by Cirque du Soleil® at ARIA
  • Terry Fator: Ventriloquism in Concert live at The Mirage
  • KÀ™ by Cirque du Soleil® at MGM Grand
  • Jabbawockeez at Monte Carlo
  • Zumanity™, The Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil® at New York-New York
  • CRISS ANGEL® Believe™ from Cirque du Soleil® at Luxor
  • Tournament of Kings at Excalibur

For complete details on this offer, visit:

Las Vegas vacation packages must be booked between January 5, 2012 and January 12, 2012 by 6 p.m. Central Time for travel January 15, 2012 through August 10, 2012. One-day advance purchase is required. Blackout dates apply.

Customized Las Vegas vacation packages include roundtrip flight via Southwest Airlines® to Las Vegas, hotel accommodations (including taxes), Rapid Rewards® points on the flight portion, 24-hour traveler assistance, and first and second checked bags fly free (weight and size limits apply). Even golf bags fly free! Savings of up to $120 per person, roundtrip.† Visit the Benefits of Booking a Southwest Vacation page to learn more about everything included in a customized vacation package.

About Southwest Airlines Vacations - Southwest Airlines Vacations offers vacation packages to more than 80 destinations with flight service available from every scheduled Southwest Airlines departure city. Travelers can customize vacation packages to include flight, hotel, car rentals, show tickets, attraction passes, tours, and more. Southwest Airlines Vacations is located in Orlando and operated by The Mark Travel Corporation (TMTC). TMTC is a member of the USTOA $1 Million Traveler's Assistance Program and ASTA TOP. For more information or to make a reservation,
please visit:

Offer not valid on existing reservations and may not be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability. Limit two tickets per hotel room. Some restrictions may apply. Reserve your tickets within 72 hours of receiving your E-Travel Documents. Tickets are not available for all price categories at all performances. Limited seating is available for select performances. Seating availability and location is determined automatically on a first-come-first-serve basis. Tickets have no cash value and are non-transferable. Show tickets can only be redeemed by the primary guest as it appears on the package reservation. Guest must check into the hotel prior to redeeming show tickets. Offer does not apply to group reservations and may be cancelled or modified without notice at any time. Tickets must be picked up from the applicable Box Office at least four HOURS prior to show time or they are subject to be released.

†First and second checked bags. Weight and size limits apply. A pair of skis or a snowboard can be substituted for one checked bag. Checked baggage fee comparison is based on Southwest=1st and 2nd bag FREE vs. "The Other Guys"=1st bag $25/one-way; 2nd bag $35/one-way; or 2 bags $60/one-way and $120/roundtrip. Source:

Seats are limited and may not be available on some flights that operate during peak travel times and holiday periods. Flight and hotel rates may vary by day of the week. Surcharges may apply to weekends, holidays, and convention periods. Flights available on published, scheduled service only. Rates may be subject to change until purchased. All Rapid Rewards rules and regulations apply. Discounts are valid per reservation before taxes are applied. Offer not valid on existing reservations and may not be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability. Restrictions apply. The Mark Travel Corporation is the tour operator for Southwest Airlines Vacations. Now accepting reservations through August 10, 2012. On January 22, 2012, Southwest Airlines will open the schedule for sale through September 28, 2012.

This message was sent by Southwest Airlines Vacations.

Cody, WY: Buffalo Bill Historical Center and Cody Chamber Launch Partnership for Cody High Style PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Marguerite House   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 14:39

Cody, Wyoming's, western museum complex, the Bill Historical Center, and the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce announced Friday, December 29, 2012, that the Chamber has taken the reins of the cutting edge Cody High Style Fashion Show held each September as part of the city-wide Rendezvous Royale. In addition, the two entities will now collaborate to produce the Cody High Style western design exhibition—a partnership that will continue to see that the event is held at the Center as part of Rendezvous Royale.

“In much the same way as we have worked so successfully with the Chamber to host the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, we now add the highly popular Cody High Style into the mix,” explains Bruce Eldredge, the Center’s Executive Director and CEO. “The Chamber staff will manage the two events while we continue to provide space for the Cody High Style western design event.”

For a number of years, the fashion show has been held in the Center’s main lobby area with the runway erected above the admissions area. “Without a doubt, we’ve had an extraordinary time with our designers, models, and attendees,” Eldredge adds. “However, we’ve embarked on a new strategic plan and have begun to examine how we use our resources. We simply think that the Chamber of Commerce is best suited to coordinate the fashion show as part of their efforts to promote city-wide events. With our friends at the Chamber in charge, we have no reservations at all that the show will continue to be a highlight for Rendezvous Royale attendees.”

Since 1999, Rendezvous Royale, billed as “celebrating the arts in Cody, Wyoming,” has brought hundreds of visitors to share in fun, engaging activities as summer winds down. The event consists of the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, Cody High Style, Boot Scoot n’ Boogie, and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center’s Patrons Ball.

“We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce and support its efforts to bring more events and activities to our community,” Eldredge said. “In so doing, we’ll attract more visitors—especially in the shoulder seasons—and that is definitely what we’d all like to see.”

To learn more, visit

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News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Ryan Burchett   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 14:05
LeClaire, IA, December 29, 2011 – Midwest Living Magazine is bringing another round of national press to Mississippi River Distilling Company in LeClaire.

The publication lists the distillery as one of the “Top 25 Places to Stay, Eat and Play” in their January/February 2012 issue.  Midwest Living showcases travel, food and culture in Midwest states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  The article can be found on page 55 of the magazine or on their website

Writers for the magazine joined a public tour of the distillery over the summer.  “They didn’t tell us who they were until after the tour,” said owner/distiller Ryan Burchett.  “But at the end of the tour, they were really excited.  Once they told us who they were, so were we!”

The article describes the distillery as a “sophisticated yet earthy craft distillery near the Quad Cities” and encourages readers to visit the distillery for a free public tour and “prepare to cheer for the two brothers who started it all in December 2010.”

The distillery was one of two attractions in the Quad Cities to be recognized as Hotel Blackhawk is also on the 2012 list. 

The national press attention has been growing for the little distillery as featured the distillery last week.  Owner and distiller Garrett Burchett says it’s exciting to see the region gaining steam as a tourist destination.  “It’s an honor to be included among some of the best tourist destinations in the region.  We feel like we’re just one part of a larger attraction that is LeClaire and the Quad Cities as a whole.  It’s great that people across the country are starting to take notice.”

Mississippi River Distilling Company is open from 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday and from 12 to 5 PM Sundays.  Free tours are offered to the public daily on the hour from 12 to 4 PM or by appointment.  The tour takes visitors through the entire distilling process.  Tours end in the Grand Tasting Room with free samples of products for those patrons over 21 years of age. 


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