We Believe the Time Has Never Been Better for Adding Additional Downtown Entertainment Tourism to Rockford’s Economic Mix.
Here’s why: For the first time ever, smaller communities like Rockford can become successful for being exactly who they are. One of the biggest objections to entertainment tourism is that residents don’t want their town to be ‘suburbanized’, by cutting people off from casual contact with the people around them. In recent years tourism has seen some big changes.
Large numbers of travelers have lost interest in cookie-cutter restaurants, big box stores, and franchised attractions. Instead, they want local food, local attractions, and connection to the lifestyles of local people. This has led to huge new trends – the Food Movement, Geotourism, Heritage Tourism, and Entertainment Tourism. Geotourism is all about preserving local culture.
Heritage tourism is getting visitors onto the city streets looking for historic churches, local museums, and ethnic traditional crafts. Authentic tourism attracts visitors who like to see things just the way they are. The Food Movement is getting people off the Interstate and into downtown restaurants, where local cafes, wine bars, and ethnic restaurants serve up their own unique specialties.
THE ILLINOIS BILL CALLS FOR THE MAXIMUM ECONOMIC IMPACT AND JOBS POTENTIAL.
Entertainment venues such as an Urban Casino is a Gateway to an Entertainment district and is a Catalyst for this. Combined on the campus, which can leverage and enhance the visitor for the overnight stays, include an aquarium, movie theater, restaurant, gourmet grocery store, spa, and bowling alley.
THIS PROVIDES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ENTIRE DOWNTOWN AND BUSINESSES FOR THE CO-PROMOTION OF THE DOWNTOWN AND BY PROVIDING COMPLIMENTARY MEALS AND DRINKS IN LOCAL ESTABLISHMENTS PAID FOR BY THE CASINO.
Look at Downtown Rockford with a new tourism lens. To identify our downtown’s assets in eight areas, architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people. We need to begin to see our old buildings, our local art, and customs with new eyes. Tourism is about small locally owned businesses that support families. Urban Casinos are designed from the ground up to engage pedestrians and support downtown businesses, culture, nightlife, and sports attractions wherever they are implanted within a community. Urban Casinos Operators also embrace their downtown neighbors by partnering with them to create additional amenities for their guests.
This added downtown foot traffic is why placing the new casino downtown makes sense. New Urbanism is a movement that works to restore life into city downtown locations across America that lost their bustle to sub-urbanization.
OUR CASINO PROPOSAL IS LEVERAGING THE INVESTMENTS OUR CITY COUNTY AND PRIVATE SECTOR HAVE MADE IN OUR DOWNTOWN.
Placing an Urban Casino in the downtown area acts as a catalyst to an area that is already on the rise. By combining elements of New Urbanism, city planners, casino operators and developers can integrate a casino development into the fabric of the urban riverfront. This happens in such a way that the downtown casino becomes an integral element in the commercial activity of the community.
THIS PROPOSAL PROVIDES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ENTIRE DOWNTOWN AND BUSINESSES FOR THE CO-PROMOTION OF THE DOWNTOWN AND BY PROVIDING COMPLIMENTARY MEALS AND DRINKS IN LOCAL ESTABLISHMENTS PAID FOR BY THE CASINO
Casino gambling which is new to the Rockford community belongs as a segment of the tourism industry. According to a recent report by the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB), “The economic impact of tourism has grown rapidly in recent years, and the recent and coming investments in the community – including a new downtown hotel and conference center and a future casino gaming complex in Rockford – will fuel additional impact.” All of the key components are pre-existing in the downtown infrastructure.
OUR CASINO WILL NOT COMPETE AGAINST THE CORONADO OR METRO CENTER BY HAVING A MUSIC VENUE ON SITE. IT WILL ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT TO CO-PROMOTE THE RAVE VENUES TO DRIVE TOURISM AND ENTERTAINMENT REVENUE.
These economic impacts of casino gambling can definitively be applied to the economic impacts of tourism in the downtown Rockford as well as the larger footprint of the Rock River Valley as a whole, which include Arts, Cultural Institutions and Entertainment Venues. This new form of tourist accommodation is aimed essentially at families, groups or foreign visitors. The extended-stay entertainment seeking tourist disposes of his or her income with longer stays, multiple dollars spread over the community with much larger revenue returns. The destination tourists are much larger and significant in numbers, they do their research, know where they want to go and what they want to do in the way of entertainment as a venue.
OUR CASINO PROPOSAL PROVIDES MORE JOBS DUE TO THE CREATION OF THE ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT AS WELL AS THE MOVING OF PIRANHA FAB.
The bottom line; An Urban Casino exerts a positive ripple effect on the stimulus of other sister industries, increasing the earnings of industries such as hotels, museums, local restaurants, and other existing entertainment venues. This strategic focus is to strengthen the core assets of downtown by revitalizing and connecting the Central Business District with the Waterpower Entertainment District and leverage the easy access of the South Main corridor to bypass 20. Millennials want more family-friendly and multiple fun entertainment venues that are hosted in an Urban Casino gateway. Operators have been waiting a while for this next pocket of growth. Gen X, which hit its 25- to 40-year-old entertainment stride this year, have significant disposable income. These demographic groups plan and plan well, look at this small snapshot of online data as they make their plans for family entertainment venues.
· More than 148.3 million people use the Internet to make reservations for their accommodations, tours, and activities. That’s more than 57% of all travel reservations each year. (Statistic Brain)
· HuffPost reports that over 95% of leisure travelers read at least seven reviews before booking their holidays. · Nielsen research found that travelers spent an average of 53 days visiting 28 different websites over a period of 76 online sessions, with more than 50% of travelers checking social media for travel tips.
· Airbnb ranked as the most visited accommodation website in Q4 2016, receiving nearly 88 million visits, up 42% from Q4 2015. Priceline Group’s Booking.com came in second, with more than
82 million visits and a 24% growth rate, while Expedia-owned Hotels.com was fourth, with more than 65 million visits, up 25%. (YoY)
· Ninety-five percent of consumers read reviews before booking, according to Tnooz.
· TripAdvisor has 260 million unique monthly visitors and 125 million travel reviews and opinions from travelers around the world (TripAdvisor)
Empirical evidence states emphatically that people plan their destinations. They are not concerned if the travel time to the destination is longer or shorter when the travel plans are made. With the advent of a newly planned downtown entertainment district located at the Waterpower District, through the Casino Operating Performa, will play a major role in the economic impact to Rockford and Winnebago County communities, as well as providing employment to over 1000 individuals who are currently underemployed or unemployed in the nearby neighborhoods.
SUMMATION OF THE IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER AND SHARE
1. The Illinois bill calls for the maximum economic impact and jobs potential.
2. Our casino proposal provides more jobs due to the creation of the entertainment district as well as the moving of Piranha fab.
3. Our casino creates greater economic impact and tease us up for the potential redevelopment of Barbara Coleman and the railyards across the street.
4. Our casino proposal is leveraging the investments our city county and private sector has made in our downtown.
5. Our casino will not compete against the Coronado or metro center by having a music venue on site. It will enter into an agreement to cope promote the rave venues to drive tourism and entertainment revenue.
6. This proposal provides a partnership with the entire downtown and businesses for the co-promotion of the downtown and by providing complimentary meals and drinks in local establishments paid for by the casino