Travel & Tourism
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.

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 ( and the Historic Hotels of America network ( For more, visit or find us on (Search: Hotel Blackhawk).


Des Moines Wins Five Iowa Tourism Awards PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Kristine Reeves   
Monday, 21 October 2013 10:58

DES MOINES, IA – Greater Des Moines has won the honor of five awards at the 2013 Iowa Tourism Conference, including Outstanding Collaboration, Outstanding New Event, Outstanding Website, Outstanding Tourism Business and Outstanding Social Media Execution.

“Winning five awards is a shining moment for Greater Des Moines tourism,” said Greg Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission. “Our community embraces tourism as Des Moines grows as a destination for meeting and sports planners, group tours and leisure travelers.”

The Outstanding Collaboration Award and the Outstanding New Event Award were both granted to the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, the parent organization of the Des Moines Area Sports Commission, along with Iowa State University, Iowa Events Center and Polk County for successful partnership on the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling National Championships held at Wells Fargo Arena—an event that broke NCAA Fan Fest attendance records and brought $15 million to the local economy.

The Outstanding Website Award was given to for increased user-friendliness resulting in 29% growth of unique website visitors from November 2012 through June 2013 over the previous year.

Additionally, the Iowa Events Center was awarded Outstanding Tourism Business for its role in helping Greater Des Moines and Iowa tourism reach for new goals, solicit and book new business and make an impact on the local economy. Blank Park Zoo was honored with Outstanding Social Media Execution for excellence in social media strategy.

The Iowa Tourism Conference was held in Waterloo this week. The award recipients have positively contributed to the experience of visitors and the quality of life of residents—and are the highest honor given for tourism in Iowa.

A full list of Iowa Tourism Award winners will be posted at

The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote Greater Des Moines as a fun, vibrant and affordable destination statewide, nationally and internationally. Our focus increases visitors to our community through meetings, conventions, sports events, leisure travel, and group tours, thereby contributing to the local economy.

News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Charlotte Morrison   
Friday, 04 October 2013 15:15
Midwest Meetings Magazine is running a Best City Contest to find out which city people think is the best one to attend and plan a meeting.
The Quad Cities is currently in the lead!

Keep the Momentum Going!
Please vote for the Quad Cities as the Best City - Simply Click Here

Please forward this email on to others so they can vote too!

Charlotte Morrison
Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau

News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Heather Riley   
Monday, 30 September 2013 15:16

44th Annual Celebration of Pioneer Bridge Builders

On October 12th & 13th, 2013 the 44th Anniversary of the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival will be celebrated in Winterset, Iowa, with the theme “The Bridges are Calling”.

“The Festival will take place in Winterset, Iowa, during the season when the wooded hills are ablaze with color! Designed to give visitors a glimpse of life in Madison County before the turn of the 20th century, the setting of the Festival and the bridges throughout the county are an artist’s paradise and a camera bug’s heaven!” (Quoting from the first Covered Bridge Festival brochure in 1970)

What was true forty-four years ago, in 1970, is still true today! Our six 130+year-old covered bridges are one of the main attractions and centerpieces of the Covered Bridge Festival. Guided bus-tours sponsored by the Winterset Rotarians are offered throughout the weekend, with stops at a few of the bridges. Many Tour Directors bring groups to Madison County all year-long to experience a “Storybook Tour”, which is packed full of history lessons about the making of the movie “Bridges of Madison County”, filmed in 1994.

You will also find live demonstrations featuring the following sheep shearing; glass jewelry making, woodcarving, as well as a cannon demonstration, pony rides and competitions such as an “Old Fashioned Spelling Bee” at the Festival. Along with wonderful artisan booths, local storytellers embody famous persons who relate tales of early Iowa history -- like Susan B. Anthony and ‘Uncle’ Henry Wallace, two well-known men who each called Winterset ‘home’, Scavenger hunts and other old-fashioned games, Other activities not to be missed will include penny candy sales, a civil war battle, blacksmith shop demonstrations, old-fashioned one-room-school lessons, and horse-drawn wagon rides – all taking place at the Madison County Historical Complex.

Sunday events not to be missed include the 28th Annual Madison County Car Show put on by the Central Iowa Car Club, as well as the historically anticipated Covered Bridge Festival Parade, organized by the Winterset Lions Club. Please note that this year’s car show location has changed and will now take place at Washington Street and South 2nd Avenue.

A collectable coin is struck each year commemorating a local historic structure. This year the Roseman Bridge – Madison County’s most famous and beloved covered bridge - is featured in a commemorative fashion. Coins are available for purchase at the Chamber of Commerce office and at the Festival for $6 each.

The two-day festival hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, October 12th & 13th, 2013. There will be a festival grounds admission fee of $2 each day (children 11 & under being free). Parking is free with shuttle services to outlying lots and various other Festival venues.

# # # #

For more information or to schedule an interview, please call the Madison County Chamber of Commerce at 515-462-1185 or visit the website: to find maps and photos of the Festival. The mailing address is 73 Jefferson, Winterset, IA 50273.

The world-famous Madison County Covered Bridge Festival is held on October’s second full weekend annually.

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