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Armstrong: County marketing and tourism promoted

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The new DeKalb County Visitor Guide will be available soon.

The DeKalb County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau marketing committee has been working on the 2013 edition for the past month. It will be published in mid-January. We are anxious to unveil the new guide. It will be available at the DCCVB office, hotels, attractions, municipalities, chambers and government offices throughout DeKalb County.

This year, for the first time, 10,000 of the guides will be delivered to Northern Illinois University for use during orientation to help recruit both students and staff, as well as keeping them all informed about what there is to see and do in DeKalb County. The guides also will be available at the Belvidere, DeKalb, Des Plaines and O’Hare tollway oasis kiosks, as well as 12 Tourist Information Centers throughout Illinois.

Our bureau also has contracted with CTM distribution to have guides available at strategic locations such as Navy Pier, Wisconsin and the Quad Cities. This expanded distribution drives more travelers to our website and county so that we continue to grow the economic impact that tourism dollars contribute to the wealth in DeKalb County.

POP WARNER CHEER EVENT

We worked with the Pop Warner Cheer Group Event to help book more than 200 hotel room nights for their participants this month. We are happy to report that the event coordinators continue to be very pleased with the high level of customer service they receive from the DCCVB staff, hotels and the NIU Convocation Center and they will be back next year.

This year’s event had 3,500 attendees. The estimated economic impact from the group was $110,000. That amount includes hotel room nights, dining and gasoline costs. All those dollars go back into area businesses to help them thrive.

CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL

Subcommittees have formed to plan for next year’s IHSA State Football Championships at Huskie Stadium. The subcommittees will be made up of community members and cover five areas: Sponsorship/Fundraising; Hospitality/Volunteers; Media Relations/Marketing; Finance; Operations.

The DCCVB will chair the Hospitality/Volunteer subcommittee. One of our goals is to help recruit more than 200 community volunteers to help ensure that we host a first-class event and provide a memorable experience for the 32,000 visitors that are expected to attend.

The IHSA State Football Championships feature title games in eight classes, four on Friday and four on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend each year.

Volunteers can sign up now at ihsadestinationdekalb.com. Check out the countdown clock and be “in-the-know” as plans continue to unfold for our first-ever event. We would like to thank MorningStar Media for their generous sponsorship, design and development of the new site. You also can get to the site from our home page at dekalbcountycvb.com.

Volunteer training will be provided. Volunteers will be able to get a great run-through at one of the NIU football games next season.

Speaking of football, congratulations to coach Dave Doreen and the 2012 Huskies for winning the Mid-American Conference West title. The team will head to Detroit on Nov. 30 to compete in the MAC Championship Game for the third year in a row. Let’s all get behind them and head to the Motor City. The Detroit Convention & Visitors Bureau is eager to welcome us back to Ford Field.

We’d like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. May your travels be safe and may you have much to be thankful for.

• Debbie Armstrong is executive director of the DeKalb County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.

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