The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway on Tuesday — the 94th anniversary of Route 66 — announcing several changes it hopes will benefit travelers and boost provide tourism and economic development benefits to attractions and communities along Illinois’ portion of Route 66.
The byway’s main website remains at its usual domain of illinoisroute66.org, but it underwent an extensive redesign. According to a news release:
An exciting new element is the addition of an interactive search and mapping feature that was developed in conjunction with the Visit Widget team out of Austin, Texas. Byway travelers are now able to search for attractions and events along Illinois Route 66 as well as obtain detailed information about Byway attractions. The interactive feature will also allow travelers to create their own itineraries and share them via text message or email with others traveling with them.
The website also features a slick new design that is both user and mobile-friendly. An enormous photo gallery containing over 32,000 pictures for attractions and communities, as well as special galleries marking ongoing events is a refreshing addition to the site.
Visit Widget and the byway also developed a new app. “Explore Illinois Route 66” is available for free download on Apple and Android formats. The App provides an even more enhanced version of the search and mapping capabilities contained on the website.
The byway, in conjunction with McDaniels Marketing of Pekin, Illinois, is designing a new print map for Illinois Route 66. A separate announcement and unveiling of the map will be forthcoming.
The organization also announced a new membership program:
Casey Wichmann, the new executive director of the organization, said, “We have completely revamped the membership program to provide substantial support for the future members of the Byway. We are hoping the relaunch of a reorganized membership program will help boost tourism and economic development throughout the over 90 communities we serve in Illinois. Our focus with the new membership program is to offer a variety of marketing and advertising opportunities as well as PR at a very low cost. The biggest addition to the program is the creation of the Byway Project Fund. This fund will provide financial support to members that apply and are in good standing with the Byway.” Individual and family memberships are also available, and all membership dues, including new memberships and renewals, can now be processed online on the new Byway website. Additional information on the membership program can be found on their website.
(Screen-capture image of the home page of the redesigned Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway website)