To our citizens, partners and customers,
On December 14, 2011, the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and Rockford Park District shared with the community a framework for growing the economic benefits of sports tourism and providing recreational services for residents. Feedback has been positive and encouraging.
Over the past few months, the Reclaiming First master plan has been poked and prodded, refined and reviewed. Four sub-committees of community leaders and elected officials worked diligently analyzing operations, financing, construction and marketing assumptions and plans. The outcome of these efforts validated our December 14th recommendations and improved the overall report and plan. We are grateful to the local citizens who volunteered their time and expertise to serve on these committees.
The Rockford region is a recognized leader in the sports tourism industry. Our citizens benefit from the facilities that are here and the economic activity that they generate. Visitors coming to events at Sportscore One and Two spend more than $15 million each year. Reclaiming First is about growing our economy, adding jobs and providing our residents with world-class sports facilities. As recommended, it is believed that the initiative will generate an additional $16 million in visitor spending and support 250 new year-round full time jobs.
As promised, following the review and analysis by our subcommittees, we are able to recommend next steps and funding options. Our commitment has been – and remains – to maximize private resources and fund the project as much as possible through taxes and fees paid by non-local users. Property taxes and general sales taxes will not be increased to fund the project.
Reclaiming First, outlines a bold new vision for Retaining, Regaining and Growing our sports tourism industry, while providing new recreational and sports opportunities for local citizens. If we are to grow our economy and our quality of life, we now need to advance the project from idea to reality.
Rockford Park District
Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau