Travel & Tourism
South Shore CVA Unveils “Flick” Statue Inspired by the Iconic Scene from the Classic Film “A Christmas Story” Bronze statue on display at Indiana Welcome Center PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Nicki Mackowski   
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 11:49

Hammond, IN (October 29, 2013) – Just before the start of the annual “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority unveiled an opportunity for visitors to see Flick, a character from the classic Christmas movie “A Christmas Story,” get his tongue stuck to a flag pole in front of the Indiana Welcome Center.


Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, and Scott Schwartz, the actor who played Flick in the movie, unveiled the permanent bronze statue during a press conference on Tuesday outside the Indiana Welcome Center.


“The South Shore CVA wanted to do something special for our 30th anniversary, as well as the 30th anniversary of the holiday classic ‘A Christmas Story,’” said Batistatos. “In honor of Jean Shepherd and the movie, the iconic “Triple Dog Dare” scene is now immortalized on one of the Indiana Welcome Center’s flag poles.”


The Flick statue was commissioned by the South Shore CVA in January 2013 and was created, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, by Timeless Creations – The Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany. In addition to the creation of Flick, Rotblatt-Amrany’s studio created the Orville Redenbacher statue in Valparaiso, as well as Michael Jordan, Frank Thomas and Harry Carey in Chicago.


The “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit will open Saturday, Nov. 9 and run through Sunday, Jan. 5. The Indiana Welcome Center is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located at 7770 Corinne Drive, Hammond, Indiana 46323. For more information on the exhibit, weekend and holiday hours or special events, contact Bethany Randolph, special events and services manager for the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, at 219-554-2229 or visit www.achristmasstorycomeshome.com.


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About the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority
The South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority, as the official destination marketing organization, leads and supports the visitor industry through the marketing and development of the county from convention, sports, gaming and special interest travel segments, thereby increasing economic impact, creating employment and enhancing the communities' quality of life.

About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

A CHRISTMAS STORY and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Turner Entertainment Co.
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Galena, Illinois plans to set a record PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Celestino Ruffini   
Monday, 28 October 2013 15:04

First-ever “longest toast in Galena, Illinois” planned November 22 during Galena Nouveau Weekend; participants welcome

GALENA, Ill. – On November 22, Galena’s historic Main Street will be lined with merriment as participants raise their glasses high to “Toast the Town” and set a first-ever record for the longest toast in Galena, Illinois.

“We have a lot to celebrate in Galena, and especially this year,” said Scott Lawlor, general manager of Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery, whose goal, along with many supporters in this picturesque town, is to make more history in Galena on Friday, November 22, 2013 during its 29th annual Nouveau wine festival.

The Lawlor family, owners of Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, along with the city of Galena plan to toast the town and its visitors to celebrate the many awards and accolades Galena received in 2013: one of “America’s Best Small Towns” by Executive Travel Magazine; “America’s Prettiest Towns” by Forbes Magazine; “10 Best Small Towns in America” by Fodor’s; “20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013” by Smithsonian Magazine; and “2nd Friendliest City in the U.S.”, as well as “14th Friendliest City in the World” by Condé Nast Traveler.

The plan: participants will register by purchasing a $3 keepsake glass. Onsite pre-registration for the event begins at 11:30 a.m. Lineup for the toast, which will take place along Galena’s historic Main Street, starts at 2:30 p.m., with the toast scheduled and documented at 3 p.m. The traditional horse-drawn wagon parade delivering Galena Cellars’ 2013 Nouveau wine to area businesses will take place at 4 p.m. Toast tickets may be purchased in advance at www.nouveauweekend.com.

Galena Nouveau Wine Weekend, based on the French Beaujolais Nouveau celebration (named after the region in which it was founded), launched in 1985, spearheaded by Galena Cellars’ winemaker Chris Lawlor. “Nouveau is a shortly fermented wine from the fall’s harvest,” said Lawlor. “It’s meant to provide a preview of the vintage and celebrated.”

In Galena, the entire community celebrates. Area restaurants offer French-inspired lunch and dinner specials such as peasant stew served in a freshly baked bread bowl or other creative ways to incorporate or pair with Nouveau wine. Lodging properties offer specials. Area spas and shops pull out all the stops (or corks should we say…) with everything wine and grape.

To learn more about Galena Nouveau Wine Weekend happenings, including information on the “Toast the Town”, visit www.nouveauweekend.com. Additional area offerings and visitor information may be found at the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.galena.org or by calling 877.464.2536. While in town, visit the CVB’s Old Train Depot Visitor Information Center at 101 Bouthillier St. (corner of Park Avenue) in Galena for on-site assistance and countywide information.

 

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HOTEL BLACKHAWK WINS THIRD CONSECUTIVE SMART MEETINGS PLATINUM AWARD PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Glenn Kass   
Monday, 28 October 2013 14:16

Davenport hotel one of just 180 honored by meeting professionals

DAVENPORT, IA – Hotel Blackhawk announces it has received a 2013 Smart Meetings Platinum Choice Award. This is the third consecutive time it has received recognition and one of just 180 in this hemisphere so honored.

Celebrating 10 years in 2013, the awards are presented by Smart Meetings magazine (www.smartmeetings.com), the hospitality industry’s premier resource for meeting professionals.

Results are decided during a two-month vote by readers with additional input from editors and industry experts. The awards recognize excellence in service and amenities among meeting facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

“To be recognized three years in a row by the professionals in the industry is high praise,” said Tim Heim, VP – Marketing, Innkeeper Hospitality Services, corporate parent of Hotel Blackhawk. “It also reinforces the Quad Cities and Davenport, Iowa as a destination leader with a level of service that meeting planners demand and only select properties can say they deliver.”

Hotel Blackhawk celebrated its re-opening December 15th, 2010. The hotel retains its 98-year-old historic character while featuring modern conveniences throughout the 130 guestrooms and extended-stay suites, six meeting rooms and up to 300-person banquet capacity in the signature Gold Room.

Other features include wireless internet, a fitness center, business center, swimming pool, hot tub, Spa Luce (lu-CHAY), Milan Flower Shop, the Bix Bistro restaurant, the Beignet (been-YAY) Done That coffee shop and Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge. The hotel is an AAA Four Diamond Hotel and is part of the Autograph Collection (www.autographhotels.com) and the Historic Hotels of America network (www.historichotels.org). For more, visit www.hotelblackhawk.com or find us on www.facebook.com (Search: Hotel Blackhawk).

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Groundbreaking Ceremony to Celebrate the Addition of Hilton Garden Inn to the Quad-Cities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Mark McLaughlin   
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 14:24

BETTENDORF, IA – A groundbreaking ceremony will be held 10 a.m., Oct. 24 to celebrate the addition of the Hilton Garden Inn, a new hotel from the Hilton brand line, to the Quad-Cities. The ceremony will be held at 959 Middle Road, Bettendorf.

Construction of the new hotel is being managed by Bush Construction, replacing the two-story HomeRidge Inn & Suites and its onsite Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern. The facility was built in 1971 and for many years was a Holiday Inn with an adjoining nightspot called Sebastian’s.

Hilton Garden Inn

“The new hotel will be a five-story structure with a total of 119 guest rooms,” said A.J. Loss, President of Bush Construction. “It will have a very polished, contemporary look. The first floor will include the lobby, meeting rooms, offices, kitchens, a bar, a restaurant, and a pool area. Floors 2 through 5 will feature the guest rooms.”

The Hilton Garden Inn is owned by Kinseth Hospitality Companies, which also owned the HomeRidge Inn & Suites. Founded in 1963, Kinseth Hospitality Companies is headquartered in North Liberty, Iowa.

Demolition of the HomeRidge Inn hotel to make way for the new structure began in August 2013. According to Loss, the structure of the building will be erected through the winter, and project completion is scheduled for fall 2014. The 79,000-sq.-ft. Hilton Garden Inn has a construction budget of $9 million.

“Having a Hilton line hotel in the Quad-Cities will certainly be a welcome addition to the community,” Loss said.

 
HOTEL BLACKHAWK REPEATS AAA FOUR DIAMOND AWARD® PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Glenn Kass   
Monday, 21 October 2013 13:38

Davenport hotel retains esteemed national designation

DAVENPORT, IA – Hotel Blackhawk announces it has repeated as an AAA Four Diamond Award ® lodging award winner for 2014.

The hotel is part of a select group within North America. In 2014, just 4.8% of 30,000 AAA lodgings across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean achieve this status and Hotel Blackhawk is just one of three in Iowa to hold this designation.

Lodgings at this level are refined and stylish, featuring upscale physical attributes, according to AAA. The designees typically offer an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, personal attention and guest services. The program has been in existence for 76 years.

“Retaining an AAA Four Diamond Award is a point of pride for our entire company,” said Tim Heim, VP – Marketing, Innkeeper Hospitality Services, corporate parent of Hotel Blackhawk. “Seeing the hip and historic experience we strive to deliver for our guests every day result in continuing with this prestigious designation is a tremendous honor.”

Hotel Blackhawk celebrated its re-opening December 15th, 2010. The hotel retains its 98-year-old historic character while featuring modern conveniences throughout the 130 guestrooms and extended-stay suites, six meeting rooms and up to 300-person banquet capacity in the signature Gold Room.

Other features include wireless internet, a fitness center, business center, swimming pool, hot tub, Spa Luce (lu-CHAY), Milan Flower Shop, the Bix Bistro restaurant, the Beignet (been-YAY) Done That coffee shop and Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge. The hotel is an AAA Four Diamond Hotel and is part of the Autograph Collection (www.autographhotels.com) and the Historic Hotels of America network (www.historichotels.org). For more, visit www.hotelblackhawk.com or find us on www.facebook.com (Search: Hotel Blackhawk).

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