Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

September 17, 2012

Corvette lovers come home

EFFINGHAM —     Corvette owner Brenda Murphy was spending time Friday in the parking lot of a place she knows well: 1310 W. Fayette St., Effingham.

    “When we come here, we come home,” said the Bentonville, Ark., resident, who was sitting with her husband, Jim, and friends outside the Comfort Suites hotel. “This hotel is home.”

    The Murphys are like thousands of car lovers who flood Effingham each year for the Corvette Funfest at Mid America Motorworks. They often stay in the same lodging place — in the same rooms, in fact — and eat at the local restaurants during the four-day event.

    “When we come in, we’re greeted by the people at this hotel who know us from last year,” said Murphy, who’s been coming to the Corvette festival for about 10 years. “We get to know them, they know us.”

    The festival, now in its 19th year, has been pumping millions of dollars per year into the Effingham economy since its inception. In 2009, Effingham city officials conducted an economic impact study to see how much revenue actually comes from the event.

    At that time, the study showed that at least $4.1 million in total revenue was generated as a result of more than 17,000 people eating, sleeping and buying merchandise while in town. Effingham Tourism Director Jodi Jackson said Friday that the 2009 figures were the most recent available. Several Effingham business owners contacted Friday for commentsdid not return calls to the Daily News.

    But those who travel here for the event every year said some of that money goes toward their stay, while some goes straight to Mid America Motorworks for Corvette merchandise. Its customers, such as Mike McGuirk, keep coming back to Effingham because of the experiences they’ve had here.

    “I’ve purchased a lot of stuff from Mid America,” said McGuirk, who is originally from Terre Haute, Ind., but now calls St. John, Ind., home. “We come here because of them.”

    McGuirk came to town Thursday with his son, also Mike, and two of the iconic Chevrolets: a rarer 1962  model and one exactly 40 years newer. The McGuirks were sitting near their cars Friday afternoon outside of the Country Inn & Suites hotel.

    “Effingham is a really nice play to come,” said the elder McGuirk, who also said he and several friends he’s met while coming here the past 10 years often eat out at the local restaurants, such as the Firefly Grill. “You say you’re going to Effingham, and people say, ‘Oh, I’ve been there.’”

    Murphy said she agrees. She refers to her Corvette friends who stay with them at the Comfort Suites as her “brothers and sisters” even though none of them are related. They also hail from different parts of the country. Some have come to town from Michigan, Alabama and Kentucky, while others are from Illinois but far enough away to justify lodging here. She said the event here in Effingham is a time for them to get together and have fun.

    “This is a family reunion,” said Murphy. “We’ve had weddings here in the parking lot, we had a wedding reception here in the parking lot with a cake.

    “We even had a divorce here once,” she said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Complex support divides council All indications at Tuesday’s special meeting of the Effingham City Council indicates Effingham Park District will not get the $1 million it is asking for to help build the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center.In fact, Mayor Merv Gillenwater

    July 30, 2014

  • Correction It was incorrectly reported in Saturday’s Effingham Daily News that federal sex crime suspect Nathan Maphis was at large. Maphis is being held in Madison County Jail. The newspaper erred. Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.

    July 30, 2014

  • tony- community garden 2 Learning and growing together The installation of a Effingham Community Garden sign marks the growing success of a common place for Effingham residents to cultivate plants and produce.“We have 23 large plots and two small plots out here this year,” said University of Illinois Mas

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-30 kitchen fire pic Kitchen fire damages home An unattended kitchen stove led to a full-still fire call at 507 Park Hills Drive Tuesday afternoon.A passerby made a 911 call and reported visible smoke from the eaves of the home at 1:16 p.m. Arriving on scene, Effingham firefighters entered the ho

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man fatally shot in Pana standoff, officer wounded

    Illinois State Police(ISP) and Christian County Sheriff's Office are investigating a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, July 29, in rural Christian County that involved ISP SWAT, a Pana Police officer and an armed offender.

    July 29, 2014

  • City to determine contribution A request by Effingham Park District representatives for a million dollars to help construct the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center is being considered at a special Effingham City Council meeting this evening.Some commissioners questioned

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-29 Filming PRIMARY Effingham grad returns to make film Travis Long says he learned a lot from directing his first full-length feature several years ago.“Kill Me Now was a learning experience, both in shooting and distribution,” the 1998 Effingham High School graduate said.With a full production crew and

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Distance learning catching on in area

    In what appears to be a growing trend among rural school districts, a third area school district may join an existing academic cooperative.

    July 27, 2014

  • Joshua Robison.jpg Opinion: God doesn't care about party affiliation

    Reflecting on what we politely refer to in this country as “political discourse,” I am often struck by how convinced many people seem to be that their sides' specific policies and personalities are the only way to save us all from utter ruin.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.