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A Publication of WTVP

The expansion of the Peoria Civic Center is not only critical for the future growth of our community, but the expansion project has a direct connection with the Greater Peoria Regional Airport. In August 2002, an independent consultant concluded that the Civic Center generates $134.6 million annually in total spending and supports 1,237 jobs in our community. The events and activities bring more than 900,000 attendees to the downtown area. Many of these guests are out-of-town visitors who generate revenue for the area retail and hotel establishments. The Peoria Civic Center has been this important economic generator for over the last two decades.

What's in store for the next two decades? Can we be as bold and visionary as our past community leaders, who made this wonderful facility a reality? The core of the Civic Center expansion is to maintain and to grow their economic role in the community. Inaction will most likely result in erosion of this economic benefit, as other communities move forward with their own plans.

How is the airport connected to the success of the Civic Center expansion? The planned 100,000-square-foot addition of exhibit space and other related facilities will allow the Civic Center staff and the Peoria Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau to compete for more regional and national conventions. The expansion will generate an additional $16 million annually to the area. Those types of conventions will have an appreciation for our area's low cost and great amenities, a much different experience than the high costs and problems associated with a large metro community like Chicago.

For our community partners to be successful in attracting these visitors and conventions to our community, the airport needs to provide the necessary air service capacity to get them here. As we attract more conventions, the airlines have more customers to bring in and out of our community. As our air service grows, the local residents will realize the benefits of having more options in air service for either business or personal purposes.

In 2004, the airport will work with community leaders and organizations to obtain more air service to build upon our new Las Vegas service. We ask you to support us, and please realize more air service has direct impact on many of these very important economic development projects happening throughout the tri-county area. Likewise, we ask you to support projects like the Civic Center expansion because we truly control the future of our community as we make these important decisions. IBI

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