Travel & Tourism
Use this winter to find bald eagles along the Mississippi River PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Jessica Waytenick   
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 16:13
GALENA, Ill. – The Mississippi River is the second most-visited natural resource in the United State, after the Grand Canyon. The bald eagles find it a pretty popular place to visit as well.


Each year from mid-December through February, thousands of bald eagles migrate south to winter along the Mississippi River near the lock and dams. Turbulence created below the dams provides open water and a smorgasbord of stunned fish for eagles to feast upon. In addition, the wooded bluffs that overlook the Mississippi are excellent habitat for roosting and an increasing number of cases nesting. It’s not uncommon to see more than 10 eagles in one tree!


Bring your binoculars and take a trip this winter to this Upper Mississippi River region in Iowa and Illinois to catch a glimpse, perhaps for the first time, of the country’s national symbol. Take part in the many bald eagle watches throughout January and February in the communities that line the banks of the Great River Road from Dubuque, Iowa, south to Quincy, Illinois. For more information on planning a winter Mississippi River getaway, visit is now hosting a contest so you can win a weekend getaway this winter to go eagle watching in one of five different communities along the Mississippi River in Illinois and Iowa. Sign up today at The contest continues through January 20, 2012.


Weekend getaways include: Quad Cities, Iowa and Ill. - January 6-8. This package includes four tickets to Bald Eagle Days, the Midwest's largest event dedicated to bald eagles, and an overnight stay at the Ramada in Bettendorf, Iowa with an indoor pool and complimentary deluxe hot breakfast. Drawing will be held on December 20, 2011.


Galena/Jo Daviess County, Ill. - January 15, February 12 or 26. Pack your bags for an exquisite bald eagle watching getaway! Stay overnight at Illinois' oldest operating hotel, DeSoto House Hotel, located directly on Galena's Main Street. Enjoy breakfast for two at their Courtyard Restaurant before you board the bus for the half-day tour. Eagle Nature Foundation's Terrence Ingram will lead you on an insightful tour of bald eagle habitats, feeding habits, migration movements, life history and survival problems. Bring your binoculars and telescopes to Galena and Jo Daviess County this winter! Drawing will be held on December 27, 2011.


Muscatine, Iowa - January 27-29. This Eagles & Ivories Getaway Package includes two tickets to the Eagles & Ivories Ragtime Concert Series, an overnight stay for two at the Clarion Hotel, and $50.00 in Muscatine Chamber Bucks redeemable at restaurants, shops, and more. Drawing will be held on January 4, 2012.


Quincy, Ill. - January 28-29. The Microtel Inn & Suites in Quincy is hosting a special FAB Getaway for you and it includes food, architecture and bald eagles. Tour an exclusive East End home, as well as the Villa Kathrine, watch for bald eagles at the local lock & dam and enjoy excellent cuisine! Drawing will be held on January 4, 2012.


Henderson County, Ill. - February 4. This getaway includes a one night stay at the historical Hotel Lynn in Biggsville. Enjoy a fun-filled day of eagle watching at Lock & Dam 18 with complimentary refreshments. Many eagles will be on-site nestled in the trees along the banks of the powerful Mississippi. A copy of the new Henderson County commercial is included in your prize package so you can show your friends where you went on your trip! Drawing will be held on January 20, 2012.


More than a dozen travel & tourism groups in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois have joined forces to promote traveling along the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Visit or find us on Facebook to check out regional events, trendy shopping areas, charming restaurants and historic sites. Use the website to plan your next getaway!

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Flight information update: Additional Allegiant flights from MLI to Mesa, added especially for bowl-bound travelers to AZ PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Cathie Rochau   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 09:31

Airport officials found out late this afternoon, that Allegiant has agreed to add two more departures to Mesa, AZ, in anticipation of those travelers who may be following the Iowa Hawkeyes to the Insight Bowl in Tempe, AZ, on December 30th.  Allegiant added two round trip flights at the request of airport officials, knowing that the nonstop flights and extra choices in dates will be very alluring to regional area fans.

Non-stop flights on Allegiant will depart for Mesa, AZ on 12/28, and 12/31.  “The extra departure on the 28th is very important at this point because our regularly scheduled (nonstop) flights on Tuesday the 27th and Thursday the 29th on Allegiant are completely booked.” says Bruce Carter, Director of Aviation.

Cathie Rochau, Marketing Representative adds “The additional nonstop flights to/from Mesa will likely serve those fans interested in returning the day after the game, and making it home in time to celebrate New Year’s Day. Plus, if people choose to go back to work on Monday, they can do so with a little time to relax.”

If fans would like to stay and enjoy the warmer climate, nonstop return flights are also on January 3 and 5, 2012. January 1 was a regularly scheduled return flight and has also sold out.  Fans can call their travel agent for assistance or Allegiant, or visit Allegiant’s website at

Gary Slater Named 2012 Chair of International Association PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by readMedia   
Monday, 12 December 2011 14:49

DES MOINES, IA (12/06/2011)(readMedia)-- Gary Slater, CEO/manager of the Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, was elected the 2012 chair of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) during the final business session of the 121st IAFE Annual Convention held Nov. 28 through Dec. 1 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.

Slater grew up on a 600-acre crop and livestock farm in the small town of Eolia, Mo. After graduating from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in animal science and a master's degree in food science and nutrition, Slater began his career as a livestock field man. He then joined the Missouri State Fair, Sedalia, as a livestock supervisor, where he served for five years. Slater joined the Iowa State Fair in 1991, where he was in charge of planning the special events, free entertainment, and booking the facilities for off-season use. After five years, Slater left to serve the National Pork Producers Council as manager of the World Pork Expo. Slater managed World Pork for six years, holding the event in both Des Moines at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and in Indianapolis at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Knowing that his first love was fairs, Slater received the opportunity to return to Missouri in 1997 to manage the Missouri State Fair. He spent four years in a rebuilding mode, helping to restore the Missouri State Fair to physical and financial success and was instrumental in formulating a master plan for the fair. In 2001, Slater accepted the position of manager of the Iowa State Fair. After one year as manager, Slater accepted the position of CEO and manager of the fair.

Slater earned IAFE Certified Fair Executive designation in 1998 and was elected IAFE Zone 5 director in 2002, representing Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. He served as IAFE treasurer from 2007-2009, as second vice chair in 2010, and most recently as first vice chair. He has also played an active role on several IAFE committees.

Slater and his wife Mary have three children: Madeline, 17; Ali, 15; and Andrew, 12.


Gov. Quinn Announces $5 Million Grant for Hybrid Buses in Five Illinois Communities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Monday, 21 November 2011 15:30

Green Vehicles to Reduce Fuel Costs, Emissions and Noise Pollution

SPRINGFIELD – November 15, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has been awarded a $5 million federal grant to buy up to 10 hybrid buses for Illinois communities as part of the governor’s initiative to expand green transportation throughout the state. The buses are anticipated to be delivered in 2013 to the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, the Greater Peoria Mass Transit District, the City of Galesburg, the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District and the River Valley Mass Transit District.

“Hybrid technology protects the environment and saves money,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “Everyone wins as we use this technology to replace aging buses across the state with new, reliable vehicles. I want to thank our congressional supporters and Senator Durbin for his work with us and his leadership in securing this important federal funding.”

The $5 million grant is from the Federal Transit Administration’s Clean Fuels Grant Program, a competitive program that encourages the use of clean fuel and innovative propulsion systems in buses. The new hybrid vehicles to be delivered to the five Illinois communities are powered through dual motor fuel and electrical power systems that cut the usage of fossil fuels. They will replace older buses powered by gasoline and diesel, resulting in quieter rides, savings in fuel costs to taxpayers and reductions in harmful emissions.

The buses also will be equipped with the latest in green technology, including electrified power steering and air conditioning, regenerative braking and automated systems that stop the engines when they are idling to cut down on exhaust and energy consumption.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our fleet of green transit buses throughout the state,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “By employing hybrid technology, we can provide needed public transit services with state-of-the-art vehicles while improving air quality and lowering the cost of fuel purchases.”

In addition to the $5 million for the hybrid buses, IDOT has received a $362,000 federal grant to develop a Web site to connect transportation providers with active military and veterans statewide. The new site will be the state’s first online resource center to help active military, veterans and their families address their transportation needs by offering information on transit schedules, dial-a-ride services and ride-sharing programs in their areas.


News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Brian Davis   
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 12:59

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT), has entered into a purchase agreement with Scandinavian Airlines System, Denmark-Norway-Sweden (“SAS”) to purchase up to 13 MD80 aircraft and 12 JT8D-219 spare engines in 2012 and 2013.

These purchases will primarily be used to replace engines that will be coming due for major overhauls over the next two years, thus helping the airline to optimize its engine-related maintenance expense.  The agreement also allows Allegiant the flexibility to use several of the aircraft for additional MD80 fleet growth in the future, should it decide to do so.

This most recent transaction with SAS demonstrates Allegiant’s ability to consistently source high quality assets at economic pricing.

Allegiant, travel is our deal.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) has posted 35 consecutive quarters of profitability. The company is focused on linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations such as Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix-Mesa, Orlando, Fla., and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. Through its subsidiary, Allegiant Air, the company operates a low-cost, high-efficiency, all-jet passenger airline offering air travel and hotel rooms, rental cars and other travel-related services. The company ranked ninth this year in Forbes’ Best Small Companies. Allegiant was also recently named one of FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Fastest-Growing Companies” for the second consecutive year. In 2011 and 2010 Allegiant ranked 64th and 25th, respectively, on FORTUNE magazine’s Fastest-Growing Companies list. In 2010, Allegiant was ranked number one for low-cost carriers in Aviation Week’s Top Performing Airline study. Receive breaking news from Allegiant by visiting Allegiant’s Facebook Fan Page at or follow Allegiant on Twitter at

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