Originally Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012, 11:57 am
Last Updated: Dec. 26, 2012, 6:32 pm

New events expected to add $4 million, 18,000 visitors to Quad-Cities in 2013

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The Quad-Cities will host 27 new meetings, conventions and sports events in 2013 that will bring 18,576 visitors and $4 million to the local economy, according to The Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau.

They also will generate more than 11,000 room nights at local hotels and motels, according to the QCCVB.

“Historically, the QCCVB generates an annual $9 million in group business to the Quad Cities hospitality community, Lynn Hunt, QCCVB vice-president of sales, said in a news release. "So we are on track to meet and hopefully exceed that goal with the events that are still in the sales pipeline to be confirmed.

Smith Travel Report -- which measures average occupancy, rates and other hotel related statistics, reports the Quad-Cities hotel market is running 1.7 percent higher in occupancy in 2012, Ms. Hunt said.

The new visitors start arriving in March and continue through November, with economic impact based on a conservative $89 per day spending per person, according to the QCCVB.

The largest -- the International Softball Congress World Tournaments Aug. 10-17 -- is expected to generate $1.783 million. Other major events, and their expected economic impact, include:

-- The USA BMX Nationals, July 19-21, $540,000

-- The Antique Automobile Association of American Grand National, June 26-30, $531,200

-- The Midwest Small Business Government Contracting Symposium, May 21-23, $174,300

-- The Society of American Military Engineers, Oct. 16-18, $100,800.

Other planned events include the Iowa State Square & Round Dance, March 15-16, $33,200; the Mississippi River Parkway Commission, April 25-27, $33,600;  the Verein Duetsch Drahthaar Group annual meeting, June 7-8, $67,200; the Midwest Master Gardeners Conference, Sept. 19-21, $87,150; and the Midwest Social Workers Association, Nov. 7-8, $20,000

In 2011, leisure travel generated an economic impact of $776 million from more than one million visitors to the Quad-Cities. Tallies for 2012 are expected to be available later in 2013.

“Not only do meetings and sporting events have an economic impact on our area, but also annual festivals and events that are an integral part of our destination offerings,” Joe Taylor, QCCVB president/CEO, said in the release “Our festivals each year have a combined economic impact of over $20 million.”

The QCCVB operates visitor centers in The District in Rock Island; Bass Street Landing and Quad City International Airport in Moline; Union Station in Davenport; and Iowa 80 Trucking Museum in Walcott. Quad Cities travel information, a calendar of events and the Quad Cities Visitors Guide are online at visitquadcities.com.