Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Carbondale Tourism

According to yesterday's Illinois Tourism Office presentation, tourism in Illinois grew by 4.5 % last year. More locally, the Carbondale Tourism office reported the following:

The team produced over 25 promotional pieces for both Carbondale Tourism and other local organizations, contributed to over 20 events in the area, and scheduled over 45 media placements. As a result, Carbondale Tourism saw responses from over 1,300 visitors, had over 18,600 website visits, provided information to over 2,400 visitors, and contributed to approximately 2,600 over-night stays in Carbondale hotels.

No indication on the Carbondale Tourism website how this compared to 2012 or previous years, though.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Murdale Farmers Market Events

From a PR sent out by the Carbondale Farmers Market:

On Saturday, August 9, the Carbondale Farmers Market on the city’s west end will celebrate National Farmers Week with plenty of freshly picked produce, live local music and fine art made by local talent. Visitors can expect sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, a wide variety of cherry tomatoes, green beans, potatoes and a whole slew of seasonal summer fruits and vegetables. Aside from fruits and veggies, the market also offers a solid selection of local meats such as grass-fed and -finished beef; bison; pork; and poultry. Folks will also find free-range eggs, locally-grown oyster and shiitake mushrooms and honey. Live music will entertain people as they walk up and down the market thoroughfare while enjoying hot or iced coffee with locally-made baked goods.

Since the USDA declared National Farmers Market Week 15 years ago, the number of farmers markets has more than doubled, from 2,863 markets in 2000 to over 8,000 in 2013.  There are more than 347 farmers markets in Illinois alone. These numbers have continued to rise in 2014 as farmers markets become fresh food mainstays for shoppers across all socio-economic, political, and ethnic ranges. Farmers markets bolster local economies, improve community health, and bring diverse groups of people together through a shared social space. 

The Carbondale Farmers Market was organized in 1975 and currently boasts 27 farming families who sell a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, baked goods and more. Many of these families have been farming for three and four generations. Others have just started. All work hard to grow good food for local markets. People who shop at the Carbondale Farmer’s Market help to support these hardworking family farmers while keeping money circulating in the local economy.

“Farmers markets grow healthy farms, healthy people, and healthy communities” says Pat Stieren, Executive Director of the Illinois Farmers Market Association.  “During a slow economic recovery, farmers markets are stand-out successes in delivering triple bottom line benefits while making entrepreneurship work in communities large and small.  During Farmers Market Week, we invite everyone to celebrate their local farmers markets and enjoy fresh local food from America’s most innovative farmers.”

On Tuesday, August 5, Carbondale Mayor Don Monty will read a proclamation announcing the city’s support of National Farmers week during the city council meeting.

A week earlier on Saturday, August 2, the market will honor its customers during Customer Appreciation Day. The event will feature Chef Bill Connors and crew, who will grill fresh, marinated veggies and meats for folks to sample during Saturday’s market. Chef Bill, the head chef for Southern Illinois University Housing, knows how to feed a crowd and has always been a popular presence at the market. Chef Bill is great at answering questions about how to use and prepare the food that people can get at the market. The market invites all and one to visit and try some of the free grilled food samples on from 8 am to noon on Saturday, August 2.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Koppers Meeting

As requested by the city council, the first meeting of Brightfields Development, regarding the proposed development of the Koppers site, with members of the Carbondale community will take place on July 30 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Eurma C. Hayes Center. Will be interesting to see how many actually show up and of those, how many want to find out more about the project and how many just want to express their opinion. I am betting the majority do not want to find anything out, they just want to express their opinion and have already made up their minds that the project is bad.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tourism Road Show

 The Carbondale Convention and Tourism office will host the Illinois Office of Tourism on Tuesday the 29th as the IOT talks about Illinois tourism. Apparently the state has record breaking numbers of tourists last year.


The Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT) is making a pit stop in Carbondale on Tuesday, July 29th as part of their 2014 Illinois Road Show.


Representatives from the IOT will stop in various cities across the state to share the recently released 2013 data on the economic and social benefits of the Illinois travel industry.

Carbondale Tourism is thrilled to have Carbondale be selected as the first of three stops through southern Illinois.

The Illinois Road Show media event will start at 9:00am at the Garden Grove Event Center, located at 1215 East Walnut Street in Carbondale, behind The University Mall. IOT Deputy Director Jen Hoelzle will present detailed information on the Illinois 2013 record-breaking tourism numbers.

The general public and businesses affected by travel and tourism are encouraged to attend and learn about the efforts of the state to continue to promote the state of Illinois and our region as destinations for domestic and international travelers.

Don't hesitate to reach out to Carbondale Tourism at (618) 529-4451 with any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Marion Overpass Open

Finally, the overpass on Hwy 13 just west of Marion has opened, making it maybe a little less difficult to navigate the stretch of road.

I still doubt that, given Marion's size, that the city needs 3 exits within such a short distance, especially one that takes cars right past Rent One Park.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Red Tape Blues

Good story in the Economist about the cost of regulation in the US, something like $1.86 trillion a year. Most small businesses complain more about over-regulation than high taxes.  If Carbondale is serious about changing its image to make itself more "business friendly", a good place to start is to work through the revised code and prune regulations, determining which are useful for the well being of the community and which are not.

The problem of course is that you will always find someone to defend every regulation, as no regulation gets passed into law without someone seeing a need for it.

However, there is evidence the city can make changes. Witness the number of new sidewalk signs that have appeared on downtown streets after the regulations affecting them were rewrittten. It took several years to get the rules changes but it did finally happen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Off Premise Signage

I have wondered for awhile why Kohl's has a off premise sign located along Hwy 13 when the store is located several hundred yards south. According to section of the Carbondale Revised Code, off premises signs are prohibited with no exceptions, unlike moving and temporary signs.

Maybe Kohl's bought the property at the location for the express purpose of erecting a sign? Still, unless the property connects to the Kohl's store property, I would think that would still be considered "off premises". Time for a trip to city hall.