September 2013
Stakeholder Newsletter
In This Issue
Top Fall Drive
Website Milestone
International Tourism
Getting the Word Out
IRR on Facebook
Illinois River Road Logo
The mission of the Illinois River Road is to provide a living museum without walls that will enhance people's experience of the nature, history, archaeology and other intrinsic qualities of the byway, while providing and maintaining unique recreational and educational experiences for visitors and residents, and sustaining local communities' economies and quality of life.


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Top Fall Scenic Drive
Midwest Living magazine chose the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway among their top 25 all-time favorite scenic drives that deliver memorable scenery, towns, restaurants and lodging.
Check out the 25 Ultimate Fall Drives and explore beautiful byways throughout the Midwest.  Better yet, get out and explore the Illinois River Road this fall and see what the fuss is all about!
Website Sets Record!
In July 2013, IllinoisRiverRoad.org  reached a milestone with more than 100,000 visitors in the previous 12 months, an increase of 35% over the prior year.

A stronger advertising presence, a newly redesigned website and a growing regional brand have all contributed to the increased traffic on the Illinois River Road's website.

The Event Calendar page continues to be one of the most frequently visited pages on our site, proving that visitors do plan their trips around community events and things to do. List your event on our Event Calendar today!


International Marketing Efforts
The U.S. and Illinois are making significant strides to attract international visitors to our great state.  With international visitors having longer vacations and a desire for an "authentic American experience" and the Illinois River Road starting just a short drive from Chicago in Ottawa, the Illinois River Valley is an ideal stop.

The Illinois River Road is spotlighted in the Discover Illinois Travel Guide, taking travel prospects on a journey along the Byway.  This downloadable guide is available at discoverillinois.org in six languages.
According to the Illinois Office of Tourism, domestic visitation numbers are up over 2011 numbers!
  • Travel expenditures are up 5%*
  • Visitor volume up 6.1%*
  • Hotel tax up 10%*
  • Travel-generated employment up by 5,200 jobs
*Also passed pre-recessionary figures 
Getting the Word Out
The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway was featured this summer in WMBD-TV's Road Trippin' Series
with spots showcasing the 
I&M Canal Boat in LaSalle and 
The Nature Conservancy's 
Emiquon Preserve in Lewistown. 

Other Illinois River Road sites, including 
Dickson Mounds Museum, 
the Spirit of Peoria and Mackinaw Valley Vineyard 
were also featured over the summer.    
An advertisement to promote antiquing on the Illinois River Road and Illinois' six other nationally 
designated roadways appears in the current issue of the Illinois Antique Guide - an easy to use guide to 
over 700 antique shops throughout Illinois. 
IRR on Facebook
Last month on Facebook, we shared a Glimpse of Ottawa. Take a look at how downtown Ottawa continues to transform, with outdoor gardens, murals and great shops and venues popping up all over!  Even shop owners take advantage of the new botanical arts brand to bring visitors to their doors. 
Upcoming Events 

Wheels O' Time 1926 Silver Streak Display
Wheels O' Time Museum - Peoria
September 1-30

Starved Rock Country Outdoor, Sports, Boat & Travel Expo
Ottawa Riverfront
September 28

Autumn Gems Quilt Show
September 28 & 29

Sunset Cocktail Cruise Aboard the I&M Canal Boat
Through October

Autumn in Sand Ridge and Manito
October 19
Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway | NCICG | 613 W. Marquette Street | Ottawa | IL | 61350