BETTENDORF -- If you've never experienced the opulence, comfort and luxury of the historic Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport, this weekend would be a good time to do it.
The hotel is offering a $129 nightly special Friday through Sunday that includes a game of bowling for two (with shoe rental), and up to $25 credits at Spa Luce and Beignet Done That.
Hotel Blackhawk is one of more than 15 hotels in the Quad-Cities area offering special rates and packages for the 12th-annual "Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard" promotion by the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau (QCCVB).
"It's a really great way for locals to experience all the great attractions and hotels in the Quad-Cities area," hotel general manager Tim Heim said at a Tuesday press conference at the Family Museum.
The weekend will include more than 25 other area attractions, shops, spas, restaurants, and businesses.
Last year was the first time Hotel Blackhawk participated in the promotion over the long holiday weekend, which is traditionally a slower time of year for the .travel and tourism industry.
"We saw a nice impact," Mr. Heim said, noting that 45 room nights were booked because of "Be a Tourist," raising his total occupancy for the weekend from 50 percent to more than 80 percent.
Last year, the promotion helped secure 355 room nights for participating hotels, translating to a $100,000 economic impact, Mr. Heim said.
"With Monday, Jan. 21, a holiday for many parents and students, that weekend is a great time to be a tourist in your own backyard and enjoy an affordable hotel stay," said Joe Taylor, president/CEO of the visitors bureau.
"People don't have to travel far or spend a lot of money to have a great and affordable weekend getaway. And they can use The Loop coupon to get around the downtowns for free."
An example of an attraction discount is $5 off the $25 advance ticket price for Saturday's fifth annual Winter Wine Experience at the River Music Experience in Davenport. The event includes hors d'oeuvres, live music, and a complimentary wine glass.
Go to visitquadcities.com/beatourist for a list of all the weekend specials and discounts, and to easily print any online coupons you’d like to use. Participating businesses also have a supply of coupon booklets.
Mr. Taylor said the coupon booklets are limited, so it's a good idea to pick up one before the weekend starts. They also are available at CVB visitor centers at Quad Cities Gifts, 1601 River Drive, Moline, and Union Station, 102 S. Harrison St., Davenport.
Call (309) 277-0937 for more information.
Instead of a second "Be a Tourist" weekend in February, as has been done in past years, a new Q-C Restaurant Week will take its place Feb. 24 to March 2, said Jessica Waytenick of the QCCVB. For a flat $25, area restaurants will offer special deals and meals, she said.
Other cities have successfully offered this type of promotion and the visitors bureau wanted to try it here, Ms. Waytenick said. A full listing of participating restaurants should be available on qcrestaurantweek.com by Feb. 1.
Today is Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2014. There are 106 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: A fine lumber mill is on the course of erection at Andalusia. A flouring mill at that location is doing a fine business. 1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments. 1914 — 100 years ago: President Wilson announced that he had received from the imperial chancellor of Germany a noncommittal reply to his inquiry into a report that the emperor was willing to discuss terms of peace. 1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually. 1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area. 1989 — 25 years ago: A few years ago, a vacant lot on 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Rock Island was a community nuisance. Weeds grew as high 18 inches. Today, the lot has a new face, thanks to Michael and Sheila Rind and other neighbors who helped them turn it into a park three weeks ago.