Geoff Ladd, tourism director for Logan County, Ill., saw an unprecedented jump of 30 percent in tourism revenue in 2009, and Route 66 played a role in that, reported the Lincoln Courier.
There were a number of reasons cited in the rise in motel tax revenue: the opening of a Hampton Inn and the reopening of the Lincoln Inn as a Best Western.
“Other reasons for the increase were all the activities related to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial, the continued strong presence of Route 66 travelers and a record setting year for the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival,” said Ladd. “We also had the amazing renovation of the Lincoln Inn, now a beautiful Best Western.”
Ladd said he has seen a significant jump in the numbers at the Best Western, and he expects an even bigger jump from that facility this year.
“The addition of the world’s largest covered wagon to the facility will help establish the Best Western as a great Route 66 hotel experience,” said Ladd.
Considering the increase occurred during one of the worst recessions in U.S. history, Logan County’s performance is very impressive.
Ladd deserves a lot of the credit. Motel-tax revenue has risen in each of the four years he’s been county tourism director. It’s not a coincidence that he’s a big Route 66 booster — The Mill in Lincoln probably would be gone if it wasn’t for his efforts.