New Winery Opens in Union County

The Southern Illinoisan today has the story on the new Lincoln Heritage Winery in Union County operated by Homer and Bonnie Cissell. The winery opened last week on Oct. 15.

In planning and designing their winery, the Cissell's said they wanted an atmosphere that reflected their personalities.

"We don't want a frenetic or party-like atmosphere," Bonnie said. "The great thing about the wine trail is every winery has its own personality."

"So if you want that party atmosphere, you've got a couple places you can go, and if that's not for you, you can come here," she added. "We wanted it to reflect what we enjoy when we go places."

Homer said it's important for each winery to have its own persona, both in its atmosphere and in its wines offered.

The winery is located at 772 Kaolin Road outside Cobden. They're open noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and from noon to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

You can find them on Facebook and it appears that they're still working on their website, which will be at when it's up and running.

Harnessing the potential of surfing and stormwatching tourism

Tofino tourism stakeholders certainly knew what they were doing when they consciously acted to capitalize on the potential luring surfers and storm watching tourists represented in off-season revenue generation. Surfers use a renewable resource, they engage in activities that don't even require them to drive anywhere once they are in Tofino. The resource is on the beach.

Stormwatchers do the same. They come to enjoy just being in Tofino, experience the feeling of being out there in the elements, seeing the waves, hearing them crashing and just taking in the whole sensation of finding oneself in that particular environment at that particular time. When operators and marketing experts think of product development and destination management, those are key indicators of success.

Interesting presentation on SEO optimization relevant to tourism context

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile to Improve SEO for Your Company

This is quite well put together. I thought it would be worth sharing with tourism marketing practitioners and experts looking to optimize the impact of resources at their disposal.

Manitou Springs Resort Hotel & Mineral Spa to reopen

I was pleased to learn today that Watrous' Manitou Springs Resort Hotel & Mineral Spa is set to reopen this Friday. Manitou Beach is legendary for the natural buoyancy mineral-rich properties and curative powers of Little Manitou Lake. The water is so buoyant, it's impossible to sink! Swimmers simply float effortlessly all day long if they want.

This used to be a hot resort in the 1920's bringing thousands in the summer from every region of Canada. The Spa went through hard times recently because of maintenance issues. Under new management and with the current economic boom in Saskatchewan, there is a good chance better times will come for what has the potential to become a quintessential rural Saskatchewan experience. There is, after all, more demand than ever for Spa and health tourism product.

Papers Add to Story About STAR Bonds District

View Marion STAR Bonds District in a larger map
Both the Marion Daily Republican and the Southern Illinoisan have their stories online from last night's Marion City Council meeting establishing the state's first STAR Bonds District.

Monday's action means the next legal step belongs to the Illinois Department of Revenue which has to approve the district's creation.

Although the developers did not identify any prospects by name, the Southern reports that Holland said the destination users could be identified within the next two months.

By law, Millennium Development must include at least one of the potential two destination users as well as the entertainment user in their master plan before the state will sign off on the plan.

The entertainment user is the non-retail attraction, possibly a theme park, that's necessary to attract enough visitors to the area to support the retail development. In turn, the sales tax generated by the retailers is what pays for the development of the entertainment user.

The legislation is designed to require both sides of the equation to be in place or the plan can't work and won't be certified by the state in the first place.

The law allows for a STAR Bonds district of 300 to 500 acres. The new district is just 366 acres, which leaves 134 acres that could be added later if necessary.

Marion Establishes STAR Bonds District

The Marion City Council voted 5-0 tonight establishing the state's first STAR (sales tax and revenue) Bonds District north of Morgan Avenue.

Developer Bruce Holland could only publicly confirm that prospective partners were showing interest, but due to non-disclosure agreements could not name them at this time.

This is typical for major commercial developments. In the case of the Illinois Centre Mall the identity of the anchor stores came later after the initial mall announcement.
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