Travel & Tourism
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

News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Kristine Shattuck-Cooper   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 09:03

LAS VEGAS— Forbes magazine named Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) one of “America’s Best Small Companies” for the third consecutive year.  This year, the low-fare travel company ranked ninth.  The list recognizes businesses with remarkable sales and earnings growth.

“We are proud to be in the top ten of Forbes' list of best small companies,” said Maurice J. Gallagher Jr., Allegiant chairman and CEO.  “It is a distinction and honor to be included for the third year in a row.  Allegiant’s team members have provided safe, reliable, low-cost air service for more than a decade.  This recognition is a great complement to their hard work and dedication."

“We are honored to be recognized as a profitable, growing company,” Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant president, said.  At Allegiant, we strive each and every day to provide value for our customers by offering great fares and vacation options to the world-class leisure destinations we serve.”

According to Forbes, “Our list of 100 Best Small Companies in America features outfits with remarkable sales and earnings growth. Candidates must have been publicly traded for at least a year, generate annual revenue between $5 million and $1 billion and boast a stock price no lower than $5 a share. (For apples-to-apples comparisons we excluded financial institutions, REITs, utilities and limited partnerships.) The rankings are based on earnings growth, sales growth and return on equity in the past 12 months and over 5 years; we dropped thinly traded names and those with fuzzy accounting or major legal troubles. We also factored in stock performance versus each ­company’s peer group. Shares of last year’s members outpaced the Russell 2000 small-company index by an average of 10 percentage points.”

The full list and related stories are available at

The company ranked second in Forbes’ Best Small Companies in 2009 and 33rd in 2010.  Allegiant was also recently named one of FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Fastest-Growing Companies” for the second consecutive year.

Allegiant, travel is our deal.

News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Wendy Artman   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 08:52
Pavilion to be closed during construction Dec. 12 through mid Feb.

(Moline, Illinois) - The John Deere Pavilion has been a top attraction in the Quad Cities and the state of Illinois since it opened in 1997, drawing millions of guests from around the globe to visit one of the most comprehensive agricultural exhibits in the world. To ensure it continues to be a cutting-edge facility and top attraction in the area, the Pavilion will soon undergo a major redesign of the guest experience.

The transformation will be significant and result in a completely new look and feel to the facility’s interior. It will also make more effective use of the outdoor hardscape. The physical building will remain the same, as all enhancements will focus on new exhibits and presentation methods that provide a broader representation of the global operations of the company.

“As the cornerstone of the John Deere Commons, the John Deere Pavilion is a strong foundation to a thriving downtown in Moline,” said Brian Holst, marketing manager for the John Deere Pavilion.  “We are proud of the facility’s success, yet we are always looking for ways to improve. Next year will be the Pavilion’s 15th anniversary making this an ideal time to offer our guests and fans something completely new. This redesign is the result of several years of planning and we look forward to unveiling it to the public in mid-February.”

The new guest experience will showcase the global reach of the company today and into the future as well as chronicle the company’s rich history and heritage.  Exhibits will feature all aspects of the company including its many businesses and global markets, broad range of innovative products, concept vehicles, and corporate citizenship.

Guests also will experience how the company’s high-tech products and services are helping provide food, shelter and infrastructure for a growing global population aswell as enhance the lives and livelihoods of John Deere customers around the world who are linked to the land. An expanded children’s area will offer a variety of hands-on learning activities, keeping the John Deere Pavilion anexceptional destination for the whole family.

The renovation requires the John Deere Pavilion to be closed for approximately eight weeks starting December 12, 2011. The Pavilion will reopen to the public inmid-February of 2012 and, as always, will continue to be a free attraction. The John Deere Store, located adjacent to the Pavilion, will remain open while the Pavilion is closed for the redesign.

To follow our progress during the renovation visit or visit us on Facebook.

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