Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

July 9, 2013

State tourism up State recognizes Firefly as it celebrates increased tourism

Effingham was one of the first stops on the Illinois Office of Tourism's Road Show Monday afternoon spreading the good news about local and state tourism.

The second of 16 stops, Deputy Director Jen Hoelzle took the time to honor Firefly Grill with a Lincoln Award for the above and beyond work owners Kristie and Niall Campbell put in for the Illinois tourism industry.“This is hands down one of the best restaurants in Illinois,” she said. “It's really something to be proud of.”Hoelzle reported that the state saw a 6.1 percent increase in tourism in 2012 over 2011, with 99 million domestic visitors frequenting the state. The number generated $31 billion for the Illinois economy and a 5 percent boost in tourism dollars from the previous year, according to figures released Monday. Tourism also generated $2.3 billion in state and local tax revenue in 2012.

The tally for international visitors is not yet complete.

“Illinois is like New York with a smile,” Hoelzle said.

Effingham County experienced a 4.5 percent increase in visitor spending.Hoelzle praised the Campbells for their business practices and being a draw for the area — and the state.Chef Niall Campbell appreciated the recognition.“It's fun,” he said. “It reinforces what we do. We live our passion, and to be recognized on top is really special. ... You don't pay much attention until someone says you're doing a good job.”It also helps that Firefly Grill has been entered into the Virtual Tourist 8th Wonder of the World contest. With more than 300 entries across the globe, it is the only submitted restaurant.The Campbells say they have gotten some media coverage from Chicago and Champaign and have seen an increase in business after their nomination.But they're also excited for what the nomination means for the community. “We're flattered to be on that list,” Kristie Campbell said. “Tourism begets tourism.”To which Niall Campbell added those who come to eat also spend money on entertainment, shopping and hotel rooms in town.Voting for the contest runs through September. One vote a day may be submitted through the company's website.

Nicole Dominique can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, or at nicole.dominique@effinghamdailynews.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Late-winter deer season extinct in area counties

    Hunters in Cumberland and Fayette counties may need to seek treatment for their late-winter deer fever.

    July 24, 2014

  • Late-winter deer season extinct in area counties TONY HUFFMANDaily NewsHunters in Cumberland and Fayette counties may need to seek treatment for their late-winter deer fever.Due to a strategic decrease in deer populations throughout the state, the late-winter, antlerless-only hunting season will be

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-23 crossroads walker.jpg Walking for life

    A group of nine Crossroads Walkers braved temperatures approaching 90 degrees Tuesday to walk from Greenville to Effingham as part of a cross-country walk designed to call attention to the pro-life movement..

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Concealed-Carry-Clothing-Suit-Jacket-400.jpg Concealed carry objections addressed

    In an effort to offer reasoning behind denials for concealed carry permits, Illinois State Police is assisting the Concealed Carry License Review Board in implementing additional measures to regulate the permit process.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Concealed carry objections addressed

    In an effort to offer reasoning behind denials for concealed carry permits, Illinois State Police is assisting the Concealed Carry License Review Board in implementing additional measures to regulate the permit process.

    July 22, 2014

  • Jay Miller faces more charges after alleged jailhouse attack

    An Altamont man already facing a minimum of 15 years in prison for contributing to the heroin overdose death of an Effingham woman in February could be facing even more prison time after allegedly attacking another inmate in the Effingham County Jail visitation room this past weekend.

    July 21, 2014

  • MIller, Jay C 021314.jpg Jay Miller attacks trial witness

    An Effingham County Jail inmate is facing additional charges after allegedly assaulting another inmate.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vehicle overturns in accident on I-70

    An accident on Interstate 70 sent one driver over a guardrail and down an embankment near Altamont.

    July 20, 2014

  • Three drivers injured in Vandalia accident

    A four vehicle accident in Fayette County sent three drivers to hospitals.

    July 20, 2014

  • preview.jpg Bus delivering school supplies to children

    Through 19 years, two buses and thou­sands of dollars in donations, families in need have been able to do their school shopping for free through the Ramblin’ Rose School Bus.

    July 20, 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.