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BN Awe T he BloomingtonNormal area is a dynamic community home to 174,647 people representing Midwest hospitality at its finest. Our history is celebrated by numerous Abraham Lincoln sites, Route 66 nostalgia and our prestigious museums. We boast a talented art community and our downstate entertainment venues, the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, the Corn Crib, Grossinger Motors Arena and Illinois State University’s Braden Auditorium are second to none. We have excellent hotels that take pride in giving our visitors the best in customer service. Over 200 restaurants in our community gives us choices from unique dining to fast food. It’s an ease to get here. Bloomington-Normal boasts a bustling airport as well as a state-of-the-art Amtrak station with frequent service. Our communities work well together in pursuing and hosting events. These are key reasons the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau was able to attract more than 250,000 visitors in the past year. These visitors created economic activity for our communities. The top five visitor expenditures according to the Illinois Office of Tourism are travel, lodging, dining, retail and entertainment. Visitors infuse new dollars into our community, strengthen our local businesses, and through the sales taxes, enhance the City of Bloomington and the Town of Normal budgets. McLean County visitors spent over $365 million dollars in 2016, ranking us the 9th out of 102 counties in the state for visitor expenditures. These visitors were here through the efforts of many entities. Our businesses, universities, hotels, attractions and local organizers all contributed to these numbers. The Convention and Visitors Bureau is a not for profit promotion agency for our communities, an information center and the liaison between visitors and the facilities that host them. Our mission is to work to enhance the region’s economic vitality, sustainability and quality of life by marketing the county as a compelling destination. Our funding is through a portion of the local and state hotel tax that the visitor pays. BN Awe with the visitors you see in Bloomington-Normal as they are contributing to our privileged quality of life and when you are the visitor in another community they should be in awe of you! The 2018 Visitor Guide is now available. Request one through our website at www.visitbn.org or give us a call at the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at 309-665-0033.