Route 66 Visitor Center Traffic Grows | WGLT

Route 66 Visitor Center Traffic Grows

May 3, 2017

Rt. 66 tourists pose with Lincoln outside the visitor center in downtown Bloomington.
Credit McLean County Museum of History

Route 66 Tourism grew by 50 percent in Bloomington last year.

That's according to attendance figures for the Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center in the McLean County Museum of History.

Museum Director Beth Whisman said the result comes from better marketing helped by the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"We were really excited about the increase in international tourists that were coming through. We had about a four percent increase, and eight percent in the number of people outside of McLean County," said Whisman.

There were more than 27,000 visits specifically to the Rt. 66 Visitors Center last year.

Whisman says modeling software at Illinois Wesleyan University shows a nearly $861,000 economic impact to the twin cities from those visitors. That's up from about $500,000 in 2015.

The museum is adding Sunday hours over the summer to capitalize on Rt. 66 travel trends.

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