Tourism bureau named organization of year
For the second time in three years, the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau was designated the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) Sports Tourism Organization of the Year, as announced last week in Minneapolis at the 2018 NASC Symposium.
RACVB, which also took home the accolade for the first time in 2016, received the honor for markets with a population of 500,000 and under.
The NASC Sports Tourism Organization of the Year award is given to an active NASC member who has had the most outstanding impact on their local community through marketing and sales efforts, the growth of sporting events, community events and generating results and economic impact.
During calendar year 2017, RACVB and the Rockford region enjoyed one of its finest sports tourism years yet, including sales efforts that yielded a 21 percent increase in sports event room nights booked, as well as servicing and/or providing hosting support of more than 150 client events. The team also produced three local events as part of the organization’s comprehensive Bring Your Game 2 Rockford (BYG2RKFD) sports marketing campaign.
“We work hard to proactively market all of our area venues for sports events and programs that drive economic impact, brand awareness and community engagement,” said Nick Povalitis, RACVB director of sports development. “We appreciate the responsibility that comes with this distinction and recognition-it’s really a reflection of the hard work and support of our many local and national partners, customers and colleagues. We’re excited about continuing to lead the efforts of growing sports tourism in our region.”
Five groups combine to offer summer swimming
The City of Loves Park and its residents are preparing for a summer without Sand Park Pool, but now five entities have come together to offer a solution for additional summer swimming opportunities.
Last fall, the Rockford Park District announced that Sand Park Pool would be closed for the 2018 season.
Closing the pool saved the District $88,000, as a variety of repairs to the concrete, fencing, play features, and mechanicals was needed, which totaled roughly $40,000. In addition to pool maintenance repairs, the District spends roughly $48,000 in tax subsidy to operate each summer.
Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury gathered a variety of organizations, including the YMCA of Rock River Valley, Harlem School District, and Rockford Park District to brainstorm alternative swimming opportunities.
An estimated 500 children took lessons at Sand Park Pool each summer, and will be able to continue to access these lessons close to home. Harlem School District offered up its middle school pool for a swim lesson location.
This summer, the YMCA will be hosting four sessions of accelerated swim lessons at the Harlem Middle School pool. The sessions start June 4 and 18 and July 9 and 23 and will be $55 per session.
For those who want to splash around and have some free time at the pool, the Y is opening its doors to non-members during the summer. On Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the Y is offering drop-in swim rates of $6 per person at the Northeast Family YMCA and SwedishAmerican Riverfront YMCA.
OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center also jumped in to support the effort. OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center is underwriting the cost of the summer program, and will provide a swim cap to each child who takes lessons.
2018 Sharefest focuses on LockwoodPark
The Rockford Sharefest 2018 summer project is just around the corner, featuring weeklong volunteer work at Lockwood Park and Children’s Farm.
From June 1-9, Sharefest volunteers will assist volunteers from the Park District and Friends of Lockwood on a variety of cleanup, repair and painting projects.
The 146-acre Lockwood Park, 5201 Safford Road, has a children’s farm, hiking trails, two playgrounds and three picnic areas.
“This June, we have the opportunity to come alongside the staff and volunteers of Lockwood in a way that ensures this educational and recreational facility remains a fun, inspiriting community asset for kids and families for generations to come,” Rockford Sharefest said in a statement.
Mayor hosts ‘State of City’ Wednesday
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara will hold his first State of the City Address on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Eisenhower Middle School.
McNamara will address the work of the City in 2017-18 and look ahead to next year. There will be a presentation followed by questions from the audience.
–Winnebago County News Briefs–