Travel & Tourism
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Kristine Shattuck-Cooper   
Thursday, 07 July 2011 12:05

LAS VEGAS – Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) has obtained approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin operating the Boeing 757-200 aircraft type.

“This is an important day for Allegiant,” Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President, said.  “The addition of the Boeing 757-200 will play an important role in our company’s future growth.  Our operations team worked long and hard to ensure the completion of this certification and we thank them for their dedication in achieving this important goal.”

Allegiant’s operating fleet now consists of 51 MD-80 aircraft and one Boeing 757-200 aircraft.  The company owns three additional 757-200 aircraft, which are being leased to two European carriers until mid-2012.  Allegiant has committed to the purchase of two additional 757-200s, which is expected to occur during the fourth quarter of 2011.  These aircraft are expected to be introduced into Allegiant’s fleet during the first quarter of 2012.

The Boeing 757-200 is a narrow body, twin-engine, medium-range jetliner.  Each 757-200 will hold 217 passengers in a single-class, three-by-three seat configuration.  Allegiant will begin to operate the 757 on existing routes between Las Vegas and McAllen, Texas, and between Las Vegas and Rockford, Ill.

The next focus for the company will be to gain Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards 180 (ETOPS) certification and Flag Carrier status from the FAA for the 757-200.  Both are required for flying to Hawaii, which the company anticipates achieving in summer 2012.

“We look forward to serving the Hawaiian market with the same business model that has made Allegiant so successful on the mainland—linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations,” Levy added.

Allegiant, travel is our deal.
Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) 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 both on a stand-alone basis and bundled with hotel rooms, rental cars and other travel-related services.  In 2010, Allegiant was ranked number one for low-cost carriers in Aviation Week’s Top Performing Airline study and ranked 25 on FORTUNE magazine’s Fastest-Growing Companies list.  Receive breaking news from Allegiant by visiting Allegiant’s Facebook Fan Page or follow Allegiant on Twitter at


Governor Quinn Announces $100 Million Capital Funding for Local Transportation Projects PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Laurel White   
Friday, 24 June 2011 12:16

Annual Local Capital Investment Will Repair Infrastructure, Create Jobs

CHICAGO – June 23, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $100 million capital investment to address local transportation needs and put people to work throughout Illinois. The $100 million in Illinois Jobs Now! funding will be distributed to local officials to repair municipal, township and county infrastructure, and  improve public safety.

“The important capital investment will help communities throughout our state to address their infrastructure needs directly and create jobs at the same time,” said Governor Quinn. “Our local communities are the backbone of Illinois and need to stay strong and keep our economic recovery going.”

Today’s announcement is through the six-year, $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program and represents the second of five $100 million annual investments to fund municipal, township and county projects statewide. Projects will be selected and managed locally, with the Illinois Department of Transportation providing oversight. The types of projects that will be performed include street and bridge maintenance, upgraded traffic signals, new storm sewers and bike baths, sidewalk replacement and pothole repairs. A complete list is available at

“We are extremely proud to work with our communities so they can fix their roads and bridges and address other needed projects,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig said. “This local component of the Governor’s capital program will not only stimulate the economy and create jobs, but improve the quality of life of residents for years to come.”

The local component of Illinois Jobs Now! is distributed to local governments based on the same formula as the state motor fuel tax. The funding announced today will boost the annual distribution of the motor fuel tax by 17 percent. A breakdown of the distribution of the $100 million by county, road district and municipality is available through an interactive map at

Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest construction program in state history. Under the direction of Governor Quinn, the Illinois Department of Transportation from 2009 through the end of 2010 invested approximately $7 billion to repair or rebuilt 4,800 miles of roads and more than 500 bridges, creating an estimated 135,000 jobs. This momentum is continuing with more than $2.5 billion in road construction projects scheduled for in 2011.


Governor Quinn Announces Increase in Visitors, Economic Impact of Illinois Tourism in 2010 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Andrew Mason   
Monday, 20 June 2011 14:08

Visitors to state increase by 5 percent, generating $29.3 billion for economy

CHICAGO – June 20, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois’ tourism industry generated $29.3 billion in revenue in 2010, an increase of more than $2.2 billion as visitor spending continued to provide a strong economic impact for the state, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“The gains we experienced in 2010 clearly show that the tourism industry continues to play a critical role in our state’s ongoing economic recovery,” said Governor Quinn. “With our world-class destinations and accessible locations, more people from around the world are coming to Illinois and staying longer, which is creating new jobs and bringing additional revenue throughout the state.”

The economic impact of tourism in Illinois has grown by more than $3 billion during the past five years. Additionally, the travel industry generated 287,500 jobs in Illinois in 2010, directly and indirectly supporting one in 10 jobs in the state. On average, visitors spend nearly $80 million with Illinois businesses every day.

State and local tax revenues from tourism totaled more than $2 billion in 2010, an increase of $93.5 million. The total tourism tax revenue (federal, state and local) saves the average Illinois household more than $1,000 in taxes each year.

Illinois hosted nearly 84.7 million visitors in 2010, according to D. K. Shifflet & Associates. This is up 5 percent from 2009. Both business and leisure travel saw increases in visitor volume, with leisure travel up 6 percent and business travel up 2.5 percent. Overnight leisure travel to the state was up 13.8 percent, increasing market share by 11 percent in this category and ranking Illinois 10th in the U.S.

Chicago was relatively flat in visitor volume, down less than one percent, drawing 38.11 million visitors. Business travel was up 4.9 percent while leisure travel was down 2.9 percent. Both overnight business and leisure travel increased 8.9 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

“Chicago’s economic vitality is driven by its visitor industry, which generates more than $11 billion in direct spending, $616 million in tax revenue, and sustains more than 124,000 jobs for our city’s economy,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO, Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau. “It is essential that Chicago continues to grow as a preeminent convention destination as well as a premier choice for visitors from around the globe. Success requires thoughtful branding, messaging, and coordination of the entire visitor experience – efforts in which the CCTB plays a critical role.”

Dorothy Coyle, Executive Director of Chicago’s Office of Tourism and Culture, said she is pleased with Chicago’s tourism numbers.

"We are very encouraged that overnight leisure travel to Chicago has increased 7.4 percent, outpacing the U.S. average of 6.6 percent," Coyle said. "Visitors continue to be drawn to Chicago as a premier leisure destination that offers great value. Hundreds of free events and one-of-a-kind attractions keep visitors coming back and lengthening their stay."

Visitor volume outside the City of Chicago was up 10.8%, with leisure travel leading the way with an increase of 13.3%. Overnight leisure travel outside of Chicago was up 22.3%

Illinois maintained its ranking as the 7th most popular state for overseas visitors to the U.S. in 2010, hosting 1,186,000 such visitors, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Tourism Industries. The City of Chicago, the 10th most popular U.S. city for overseas visitors, hosted 1,134,000 international visitors in 2010, a 2 percent increase over 2009 arrivals. 


Harkin Announces Nearly $7 Million for Snow Removal/Maintenance at Iowa Airports PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Harkin Press Office   
Monday, 20 June 2011 13:40

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), today announced that several Iowa regional airports will receive a total of $6,974,811. The funds will be used to improve airports’ ability to cope with inclement weather and to maintain and update existing airport facilities across Iowa.

“Airports in Iowa are impacted by so many elements: be they weather, general wear and tear or time.  This funding will ensure that our airports are running safely during every month of the year: from the winter snows to the heat of summer, making travel safe for passengers,” said Harkin.

Today’s funding comes from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Harkin is a senior member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the DOT.

Details of the funding for inclement weather are below:
Belle Plain Municipal Airport- $228,000
Creston Municipal Airport - $218,500
Fairfield Municipal Airport - $76,000
George L. Scott Municipal Airport - $156,750
Les Mars Municipal Airport- $194,252
Oelwein Municipal- $421,420
Sioux Gateway/Col. Bud Day Field Airport- $380,000

Details of the funding for general maintenance are below:
Ankeny Regional Airport-$ 1,530,000
Audubon County Airport- $429,875
Decorah Municipal Airport- $296,000
Dubuque Regional Airport- $266,000
The Eastern Iowa Airport- $285,000
Fort Madison Municipal Airport: $301,874
Greenfield Municipal- $66,500
Knoxville Municipal Airport- $107,280
Mount Pleasant Municipal Airport- $66,500
Pocahontas Municipal Airport- $233,000
Sac City Municipal- $76,000
Shenandoah Municipal Airport- $76,000
Sioux Gateway/Col. Bud Day Field- $156,750
Waverly Municipal Airport- $250,656
Washington Municipal Airport- $1,096,704
Webster City Municipal Airport- $61,750


State Fair Express Offers Convenient Ride to Iowa State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by readMedia   
Thursday, 16 June 2011 13:10

DES MOINES, IA (06/16/2011)(readMedia)-- The Iowa State Fair and Windstar Lines have partnered to provide round trip transportation to the Fair from 46 locations throughout the state. The convenient and affordable State Fair Express will offer motor coach service during the Iowa State Fair August 11-21.

Each State Fair Express ticket includes:

• Round trip transportation on a deluxe Windstar Lines motor coach

• Fair admission

• A complimentary bottle of water

• Fair coupon book offering food and drink discounts with more than $30 in savings

• Daily Program with map of the Fairgrounds

• Easy pickup and drop off in the Fair's North Lot at Gate 15

The State Fair Express will arrive at the Fair at approximately 10 a.m. and will depart at 6 p.m. Adult fare includes ages 12 and over, child fare includes ages 5-11 and children under 5 ride free. Persons under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Ticket pricing varies by location. A complete list of routes, pricing and pickup locations follows.

Please call Windstar Lines Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 888.494.6378 for State Fair Express reservations. Payment must be made in full at the time of reservation. Windstar accepts Visa and MasterCard.

Reservations can be made up to one week prior to departure. The State Fair Express runs rain or shine and no refunds will be issued. A minimum of 30 people must book for the trip to run, cancellation of the trip will occur seven days prior to departure and you will be notified by Windstar Lines if this occurs. If the trip does not meet the minimum requirement for riders and is cancelled refunds will be given.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2011 Iowa State Fair, celebrating 100 years of the Butter Cow August 11-21. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or

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