Travel & Tourism
Loop changes take effect June 28th PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Margo McInnis   
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 13:44
The Loop service changes will take effect on June 28.  The map and schedule have been redesigned, and there is a new Loop website: www.qcloop.com You can view the new maps/stops/schedule at that site.

 
Hotel Blackhawk, Bix Bistro Named As TripAdvisor Award Winners PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Glenn Kass   
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 14:02

HOTEL BLACKHAWK AWARDED TRIPADVISOR ® CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE: Davenport hotel achieves prestigious status for second consecutive year

DAVENPORT, IA – Hotel Blackhawk is pleased to announce that it has earned a 2013 TripAdvisor ® Certificate of Excellence Award – the second consecutive year it has earned the honor.

The prestigious award honors hospitality excellence and are given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor ®, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor ® receive this award.

To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

“Our company is pleased to again receive this award from TripAdvisor,” said Tim Heim, VP – Marketing, Innkeeper Hospitality Services. “We strive to offer guests a hip and historic experience, and repeating this recognition shows the hard work of our team at Hotel Blackhawk is continuing to translate into positive traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.”

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor ® offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor ®-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 50 million unique monthly visitors, and over 60 million reviews and opinions.

Hotel Blackhawk re-opened 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 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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BIX BISTRO EARNS TRIPADVISOR ® SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD: Hotel Blackhawk restaurant continues to complement diner’s experience

DAVENPORT, IA – Hotel Blackhawk is pleased to announce that its on-site restaurant – Bix Bistro – has earned a 2013 TripAdvisor ® Service Excellence Award.

The prestigious award honors service excellence and are given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor ®, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor ® receive this award.

To qualify for the Service Excellence award, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

It also marks the second major recognition for the restaurant itself. In 2012, Bix Bistro received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its wine selection and theme.

“Bix Bistro is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Deanna Jensen, General Manager at Hotel Blackhawk. “We strive to create memories for our guests, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.”

Hotel Blackhawk re-opened 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 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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Great River Road National Scenic Byway Celebrates 75th Anniversary PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Kate Hagen   
Monday, 06 May 2013 14:01

Mississippi River states to host celebrations throughout 2013

MADISON, Wis. [May 6, 2013] – The Mississippi River Parkway Commission is excited to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway.

In 1938, the governors of the 10 river states developed the concept of a transcontinental Great River Parkway along the Mississippi River. Choosing to conserve precious resources, among them land, time and dollars, they decided rather than building a new continuous road, the existing network of rural roads and then-fledgling highways that meandered and crisscrossed the river would become the Great River Road. The green Pilot’s Wheel road sign that marked the route of the new byway more than seven decades ago still heralds the road today.

As one of the oldest, longest and most unique scenic byways in North America, the Great River Road offers respite to millions of travelers seeking a getaway – from a leisurely day’s drive to an extended vacation. Nearly 3,000 miles long and running through 10 states along the Mississippi River, the Great River Road has offered a gateway to the river valley’s great history, the blending of cultures and a host of recreational options to all who journey it for three-quarters of a century and counting.

Plan a day’s drive or a month-long excursion along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway with the help of experiencemississippiriver.com. Here you’ll find information on all the states’ interpretive centers, upcoming events and must-see attractions, along with suggested itineraries and maps to help plan a trip that’s just right for you.

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Adventure Awaits at Missouri Theme Parks PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Stephen Foutes   
Friday, 26 April 2013 09:40
Enjoy the Ride at Missouri's Theme Parks

Jefferson City, Mo. — Missouri’s collection of theme and amusement parks supplies countless thrills and chills. Without exception, these parks are anchored by the most exciting rides of all — roller coasters. In Missouri, our world-class roller coasters literally reach new heights.

Kathleen Olsen’s first memory of a roller coaster is from a family trip to Six Flags Over Mid-America (now Six Flags St. Louis) in 1976. Back then, passengers were loosely secured on the car’s bench seat by a belt across their laps. At the time, the brand new Screamin' Eagle was billed as the world's tallest, longest, and fastest roller coaster. The train of cars traveled on rails utilizing steel strips mounted onto a wood superstructure.

“There were no loops or corkscrews, but the drops from high in the sky were exhilarating,” Kathleen recalls.

As she tells it: “Mom wore her hair in what we now call an updo, with a wiglet attached to enhance her elaborate hairstyle. Quite the high fashion in those days.” Yes, you guessed it – the wiglet came loose during the ride.

“Not all the way off,” Kathleen chuckles. “It was still attached in the front, so it flapped wildly in the wind as we zoomed along. Imagine Mom’s embarrassment.”

It’s been some 37 years since the ‘updo incident,’ and Kathleen Olsen has evolved into Katie Steele Danner, director of the Missouri Division of Tourism, and her perspective of and respect for theme parks and roller coasters has evolved as well.

“The Screamin' Eagle is still operating,” she pointed out, “but coasters as a whole have come a long way, to put it mildly.”

Most modern roller coasters run on a tubular-steel framework, easily bent to allows the cars to rocket through loops, corkscrews, and huge drops; however, wooden coasters are still being built. Missouri’s three, world-class parks boast both types of construction.

In 2013, two new roller coasters begin thrilling, even challenging, brave riders in Missouri. One sets two new world records.

“I am eager, and admittedly a bit anxious, to give both a try,” said Danner. “Six Flags, the hair-raising location of my youth (no pun intended; well, maybe a little), has added its ninth coaster.”

Boomerang is a nerve-racking, steel roller coaster that flings you through a combination of intense and ferocious sensations. First, you and 37 other riders are slowly pulled backward, 125 feet into the sky; after a short pause, you are released to rocket along 1,650 feet of twisting steel track, at speeds reaching 50 mph, through loops and cork-screws, before climbing a second hill where the track ends. At that point, you pause in mid-air before running the full route again — backwards.

But wait! That’s not the end of the story at Six Flags. The eight themed areas of the park expose visitors to a collection of 49 rides and attractions, 18 food options, and numerous gift and souvenir shops. Plus, six theaters present a constant variety of top-name entertainers, concerts and special events throughout the season. And – as if that’s not enough to keep you exhausted – Hurricane Harbor waterpark (included with Six Flags admission) is home to water slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and nearly a dozen waterborne activities.

The Six Flags St. Louis complex is located in Eureka, 30 miles south of downtown St. Louis. Six Flags welcomes adventurers April thru September; Hurricane Harbor is open late May thru early September. Check the website for specific days and times.

World records are not broken very often. That said, a new ride at Silver Dollar City in Branson has broken three, this year. Outlaw Run – billed as the world’s most daring wood roller coaster includes the steepest drop for a wood coaster anywhere on earth – 162 feet, almost straight down at 81 degrees (world record No. 1); a double barrel-roll, making it the only wood coaster in the world to get you upside-down (world record No. 2); the first outside-banked turn on a wood coaster (world record No. 3). And reaching a top speed of 68 mph, it is the second-fastest wood roller coaster on the planet.

After you catch your breath, this 1880s-themed park includes 30 fun-filled, family friendly rides and attractions (some dry; some wet) to keep you entertained. Among them is Marvel Cave, a Registered Natural Landmark, with one of the largest subterranean entry-rooms in the United States. Also, Silver Dollar City is home to 60 shops, with 100 resident craftsmen and artisans, demonstrating their talents. And don’t miss the dozen delightful restaurants showcasing a unique style of country cooking, rated among the best theme park food in the nation by Amusement Today Magazine.

Tired yet? They put on more than 40 live shows spaced throughout the season, including six world-class festivals which are among the most attended themed-festivals in the country. As a Golden Ticket Awards winner, Silver Dollar City shows have been rated among the best in the entire theme park industry.

Silver Dollar City is open select days in April and May, daily June and July, and select days August thru December. Check the website for specific days and times.

Need more thrills? Travel to Kansas City to experience Missouri’s third major theme park, Worlds of Fun, themed around the Jules Verne book, “Around the World in Eighty Days.” For a single entry ticket, enjoy both Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun waterpark.

At Worlds of Fun, you can scream your head off on Mamba, one of the tallest, longest and fastest roller coasters in the world. Mamba is a state-of-the-art coaster, where riders climb 200 feet before plummeting toward the earth at 75 mph, through nine drops, racing along 5,600 feet of steel track. Add to that nearly 100 rides and adventures; 33 food and snack options; Charlie Brown and the whole Peanuts gang roaming the park; and plenty of amazing performers from across the country. The newest attraction is Dinosaurs Alive! The multi-sensory, interactive dinosaur park features more than 35 life-sized dinosaurs (no, they don’t bite), including the world's largest animatronics dinosaur, standing nearly 40 feet tall and 72 feet long (hey, that’s another world record).

Oceans of Fun features 60 acres of drenching water attractions, including a twisting raft adventure; the wave pool; water playhouse; 33 water slides; a lazy river; and a monsoon.

Worlds of Fun thrills visitors April through October; Oceans of Fun will cool you off mid-May through mid-September. Check the website for specific days and times.

So get out there and be thrilled; but mind your hair …. and your hat, and anything else that might drop off. Ride on the wind this year, in Missouri. Enjoy the show.

For listings of other things to see and do in Missouri, go to VisitMO.com. Order your free copy of the Official Missouri Travel Guide at 800-519-4800.

About the Missouri Division of Tourism
The Missouri Division of Tourism (MDT) is the official tourism office for the state of Missouri dedicated to marketing Missouri as a premier travel destination. Established in 1967, the Missouri Division of Tourism has worked hard to develop the tourism industry in Missouri to what it is today, an $11 billion industry supporting more than 281,000 jobs. For more information on Missouri tourism, go to http://www.visitmo.com.

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Delta announces mainline jet service for first time in history to Quad City International Airport PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Cathie Rochau   
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 14:08

(Moline/Quad Cities) For the first time in history, Delta Air Lines will provide mainline service to the Quad City International Airport.  Airport officials were informed late last week that Delta will use an A-319 Airbus once per day, for one departure and one arrival.  The aircraft seats 126 passengers- twelve in first class, and 114 in coach.

Flights will be to/from Atlanta, and will depart the Quad Cities at 6:00 a.m., arriving in Atlanta at 8:51 a.m. The evening flight will depart Atlanta at 9:21 p.m., and arrive in Moline/Quad Cities at 10:17 p.m. (All times local.)  These flight times are already in the current schedule, along with two other daily arrivals and departures offered between Moline and Atlanta by Delta.

Bruce Carter, Director of Aviation, says “We are very excited that Delta is inaugurating service with a mainline aircraft.  This opens up more opportunities for operating larger aircraft from the Quad City International Airport.  We have already made the investment in special ground handling equipment to support the A-319 operations,” Carter adds.  “We know our leisure and corporate travelers, in particular, who use these flights for domestic and international connections through the Atlanta hub, will enjoy and appreciate the upgraded aircraft.”

The flights utilizing the A-319 will begin June 10, 2013.  Delta currently serves the Quad Cities with three popular hub, or connecting cities: Atlanta, Detroit, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The Quad City International Airport strives to make travel an easier experience. There are four airlines serving travelers from throughout eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. There are currently 10 nonstop destinations,  with dozens of daily departures and hundreds of connections beyond. Visit qcairport.com.

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