Tourism | WGLT


big room with seated people and display screens.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The new head of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council promised regular updates on development efforts during a joint Bloomington City Council, Normal Town Council, and McLean County Board meeting Monday night.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

Changes at State Farm are impacting many parts of the local economy—from real estate to jobs to downtown Bloomington’s future.


Destihl Brewery has cut the ribbon on its new  $14 million production facility in north Normal.

The grand opening Saturday at the brewery north of Menards comes at a time craft brewing growth has begun to slow in the U.S. But, Giotto Troia of Destihl said his company's position remains enviable.

Staff / WGLT

The State Tourism Director said Illinois is trying to concentrate on local makers to supplement destination locations for Illinois visitors.

Cory Jobe said that includes things like Funks Grove Maple Sirup, Epiphany Farms farm to fork food, craft brewers like Destihl, and distillers.

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.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

McLean County and state and federal elected leaders hope a bike trail will eventually extend from the northern border to the south end of McLean County.

On Wednesday they dedicated a new eight mile stretch of the Constitution Trail extending along Route 66 from Normal to Towanda. U.S. Representative Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap) said he is sponsoring a bill to make Route 66 a national historic trail.

The Chateau / Facebook

The City of Bloomington has allowed the Conference Center at The Chateau hotel to reopen. 

Community Development Director Tom Dabareiner said decision is based on procedures defined by the International Code Council and "consistent with the thought process that allowed the restaurant to remain open." He said fire rated doors separate the hotel from the meeting room area. 

Bloomington Shuts Down Chateau Hotel

Mar 8, 2017
Chateau Hotel and Conference Center / Facebook

The City of Bloomington has shut down the Chateau Hotel and Conference Center. A contractor tipped off the city that fire alarms did not work.

Don Palma / Palace Events

The 150 year-old Duncan Manor just outside of Towanda near Route 66 will host a Handmade and Vintage Market this Labor Day weekend and the couple which owns the historic landmark wants to be able to host many more events in the future. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The Illinois Department of Commerce's Office of Tourism is celebrating artisans, products and experiences unique to the state with the new Illinois Made program. Illinois Office of Tourism Director Cory Jobe said  Illinois Made is an opportunity to feature the entrepreneurial spirit that is happening in the state. Jobe said Illinois is home to a thriving culture of artisans and craftspeople, making products that are in high demand among people looking for authentic, out of the ordinary experiences.  

Ralph Weisheit

The Normal Town Council approved $606,000 to renovate the former Sprague's Super Service fuel station along Route 66. Former Illinois State University professor and Route 66 Scholar Terri Ryburn, who is selling the building to the town, said she'll be happy to see this property develop.

Normal To Consider Fixing Up Route 66 Attraction

May 15, 2016
Staff / WGLT

A fuel station first built in the 1930’s along Route 66 in Normal could be fully restored by the town. The Normal Town Council will consider whether to spend $606,000 to purchase the property, make improvements to the building, and replace the parking lot.

Pike County Apple Cider Sickens Dozens

Nov 6, 2015
Public Domain / Creative Commons

Health officials in two western Illinois counties are investigating an illness affecting people who drank apple cider during a recent fall festival. The health departments of Pike and Adams county say more than 60 people who attended the Pike County Color Drive have similar gastrointestinal symptoms. Several have been hospitalized. Officials say the suspect apple cider could be tainted with E. coli bacteria or a microscopic parasite called cryptosporidium. The Illinois Department of Public Health is assisting with the investigation. The fall festival was held Oct.

Peoria Sister City Program Celebrates

Oct 27, 2015

Peoria is planning a celebration in 2016 to mark the 40th anniversary of its sister-city relationship with Friedrichshafen Germany. Officials expect to plan informal and official visits by residents of each city to the other. Eric Hoadley is outgoing president of Friends of Friedrichshafen, a local volunteer group. He says there's great pride in the relationship with the German city because of all the years people have put into building it. Friedrichshafen is in southern Germany, on Lake Constance on the border with Switzerland.

Saint Louis Arch Marks Milestone

Oct 27, 2015
St. Louis Gateway Arch On Summer Day
Daniel Ramirez / Wikimedia

The towering, shimmering Gateway Arch that's St. Louis' famously defining feature is about to celebrate a monumental anniversary. A half-century ago on Wednesday, crews in 1965 installed the final stainless steel section at the apex of the 630-foot-tall tribute to President Thomas Jefferson and the pioneers for whom St. Louis served as a gateway to the West. Mayor Francis Slay and other dignitaries plan to commemorate that moment with a ceremony.