ROCK FALLS – The city’s top tourism official is getting the word out – eight of them, to be exact – that Rock Falls is more than just a peaceful place to party.
The Rock Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau is kicking off a new marketing campaign for the city, complete with a new slogan.
“Urban Crossroads – Where City Life and Nature Meet” will replace “Come for the Peace, Stay for the Party!”, which was introduced in January by Tim Wilson, former tourism director with the Rock Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Wilson had announced his campaign while the city and CVB were in a court battle over tourism reserves from local hotel/motel tax revenue. The city decided not to renew the agreement that governed the CVB’s role as the city’s tourism arm, and the pact expired Sept. 30, 2014.
Janell Loos, who had served as interim tourism director, was given the job on a permanent basis at the Oct. 20 City Council meeting. The job also includes special events coordination duties.
Loos told the tourism committee Tuesday that she also is working on a new mission statement.
“I don’t just want to tell people what a great place Rock Falls is to visit, I want to let them know that there are things going on here economically, too,” Loos said.
Some funding requests related to special events are starting to come to the tourism committee.
The Rock Falls Area Chamber of Commerce had its $250 grant request approved Tuesday for the bingo event that kicks off Hometown Holidays on Nov. 19.
“The holiday bingo is starting to bring in extended family of those who play, and some of those people will be staying in our hotels,” said Kadina Hodges, the chamber’s events coordinator.
Jeff Lattimer of Rhythm-Quest Performance Ensembles has put in a request for a tourism grant for the music group’s percussion event in March.
“We are looking at bringing 150-plus ensemble members and their families to town,” Lattimer said. “We want to penetrate the Rockford and Iowa areas with this event.”
Alderman Glen Kuhlemier, a tourism committee member, suggested using jazz percussion legend Louie Bellson in marketing the event. Bellson, who was born in Rock Falls in 1924, was the impetus for several Heritage Days festivals. The festivals ended when Bellson died in 2009.
The committee will make a decision on Lattimer’s request after additional information is provided for the grant application.
The Rock Falls Tourism Committee next meets at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 8 at City Hall, 603 W. 10th St.
The agendas will be posted at www.rockfalls61071.com and at City Hall.
Call 815-622-1100 for more information.