IMEA takes brings big $ to Peoria, re-configures while Pere renovates

By Audrey Williams

January 24, 2013 Updated Jan 25, 2013 at 12:11 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- Music educators and students from all over the state have taken over downtown Peoria for the annual Illinois Music Education conference.

The convention is the largest annual conference at the Civic Center, with about 10,000 people expected this year.

The Peoria Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau estimates a $1.1 million economic impact through hotel rooms, eating out and shopping.

The renovations at the Hotel Pere Marquette have put a cramp on their activity, but organizers are excited to see the changes.

"With the help of the City of Peoria and the crew here at the Civic Center, they did an awesome job helping us reconfigure what we do and use space in a little different way to minimize the impact of what happened with the Pere. Now we're just very excited to get back to that, probably going to use this space in the same configuration we made, but do some new and exciting things in the new space that's going to be in the Marriott," said IMEA Executive Director Darcy Nendza.

The convention will wrap up Saturday evening.

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