WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) – The Rockford area has a long way to go before reclaiming first when it comes to sports tourism, but after a big win downstate last year, the next step in that process kicks off today.
The Winnebago County Regional Tourism Facility Board will focus on one thing, spreading the wealth, meaning the money that is collected through the new hotel/motel tax.
The group held its first meeting today and they’ll be the ones divvying up the revenue collected through the 2% tax on people who stay at area hotels and motels that money used for upgrading and building area sports facilities. The hope is that state of the art facilities will bring more regional sports tournaments to the Stateline, boosting the local economy and making Rockford the go-to spot for sports tourism.
“You know it’s exciting to see four years of the excitement and the anticipation from our citizens really come to the table and really come to a head when they can come to meetings and they can say we’re actually probably be building these things and our kids are going to be playing on them in two years,” said Executive Director Tim Dimke.
Dimke is the Board’s executive Director and says the ax should raise a million dollars annually. Most of the initial money will be used for upgrades to Sportscore 2 and the Downtown Ingersoll Project.
Rockford City Council members still have to approve the Ingersoll Project. Dimke hopes for a vote this month. The new hotel tax went into effect at the beginning of this year.