ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Rockford has been long known for its struggles including a high crime right, high unemployment, and the recent designation as the 3rd most miserable city in the nation by Forbes Magazine.
However, another magazine, Midwest Living, has a different spin on the Forest City, on that people here feel is more accurate.
Beth Murnane and her children are one of the many groups that come into Rockford to have fun at the Discover Center Museum. She lives in Arlington Heights, almost an hour and a half away and she, like many others, say it’s nice visiting our town.
“This downtown area seems to be rehabilitated a little bit. I think there’s plenty of things to do, especially for families. Especially for just a one day type thing.” Murnane said. “We don’t have many museums like this in Sycamore, so it’s a little bit of a drive, but it’s really worth the effort,” said another visitor, Robin Slider of Sycamore. “My kids always have a good time when coming to Rockford.”
Travel magazine “Midwest Living” featured the Forest City in it’s latest issue, focusing on painting a different picture of Rockford than what outsiders are probably used to.
“Certainly there are weaknesses that Rockford has, but we’ve also got so many strengths.”
Anne Marie Walker works for the museum and says the magazine article may encourage more people to visit our city, potentially boosting the local economy.
“Wherever we’re getting people from out of town, traveling to Rockford, they’re spending money. Whether its buying gas, going to the attractions, seeing museums, shopping, whatever, and that’s a win for the whole city of Rockford,” said Walker.
Some say their experiences keep them coming back.
“We come all the time. There’s just a lot of different things in Rockford.”
The Rockford Area Visitors and Conventions Bureau says they worked with the magazine for almost a year, helping them put the article together. The RACVB also says tourists spend nearly $300 million dollars in Rockford each year and that supports about 3,00 jobs.