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Tourism bureau to debut ‘Kid’Cation’ next month

From Illinois Business Journal news services

ALTON – A major new vacation adventure, the third annual AllStar Restaurant Week and a new video production showcasing the Meeting of the Great Rivers have been introduced by the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau.

They were unveiled during a National Tourism Week Rally in Alton this past week.

The vacation promotion is titled “Kid’Cation.” It was developed in partnership with regional businesses in an effort to give families a strong, local vacation option. The event will be held from July 31 through Aug. 9. Regional activities include concerts at the Alton Amphitheater featuring the Alton Muny Band, Pirate Cruises aboard the Hakuna Matata Riverboat in Grafton, free kids’ admission to Raging Rivers Water Park, unique tours of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam and additional activities sponsored by local businesses and attractions.

Area restaurants and hotels are also offering Kid’Cation specials for vacationing families. Amtrak has also developed a special round-trip ticket price for children traveling with parents from St. Louis to Alton.

“We know parents often wait almost too late to plan a last-minute getaway. Kid’Cation is a way we can offer a competitive slate of events, specials, activities and giveaways for families looking for an affordable end-of-summer vacation,” Brett Stawar, president and CEO of the Alton Regional CVB said. “The support for Kid’Cation throughout our region has been phenomenal.”

Kid’Cation offers and activities will be featured on the website

Stawar, along with Ryan Hanlon of Route 3 Films, also debuted a new video which is designed to give visitors a snapshot of the region in 90 seconds. The video was developed by Hanlon, an Alton native, and professional filmmaker.

The video showcases the majestic views found along the Great River Road and throughout the communities served by the CVB, including Alton, Grafton, Hartford, Godfrey and Elsah.

The Third Annual AllStar Restaurant Week will be held July 10 through July 19. A total of 17 restaurants will take part in the annual event which features culinary treats at fixed prices. Lunch at participating restaurants will be $10 and dinners are $25. Diners who bring in their receipt to the Alton Visitors Center from participating restaurants will receive a free St. Louis Cardinals Budweiser pilsner glass. Diners 21 years of age and older are eligible for the glass.

“Restaurant Week has grown tremendously since we started it four years ago,” Stawar said. “Our restaurants are benefiting by the growing number of diners who see the value of this 10-day event. And, of course, who doesn’t like to eat and try out different restaurants.”

The tourism rally was held at the Alton Argosy Casino. Nearly 200 business and attractions partners attended the event, which was emceed by Derrick Keith of WIL Country Music. This is the second year the Alton Regional CVB has celebrated the start of the summer tourism season with a partner-based rally as part of the U.S. Travel Association’s National Travel and Tourism Week.

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