PACVB boasts big plans in coming years

By Audrey Williams

May 9, 2013 Updated Nov 9, 2013 at 7:17 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- New and exciting things are headed to the Peoria area, that was the message Thursday night at the annual Peoria Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau meeting.

Don Welch, PACVB President and CEO, said teamwork has faded in recent years between the civic center, area hotels and the bureau.

Now, Welch said with 8 new employees out of 14, they are making some changes for the better and increasing tourism opportunities.

"We came in with a theme from the Blues Brothers that we're going to put the band back together and we're on a mission from God. And that's what were doing. We've got the hotels, the civic center and the CVB all working very well together. We've got an awesome sales force that's just going out and winning the meeting planners and the sporting events over," said Welch.

The PACVB has already booked more than 15,000 hotel rooms for this year. That is estimated to bring in more than $5 million to the local economy.

Welch said the re-opening of the Marriott Pere Marquette at the end of June will only help tourism in the downtown area.

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