Nancy Saul of Lincoln, who joined the staff almost three years ago
as a part-time administrative assistant, is the bureau's interim
Saul said that recent activities have centered on letting the
community know that the bureau is still operating, as well as
continuing the mission to "put heads in beds."
For example, the bureau participated in Main Street Lincoln's
recent Christmas parade, with the help of local volunteers. The
bureau's banner reminded attendees that "Your Winning Smile is Our
No. 1 Attraction."
"We didn't think it would be amiss," Saul said, "to remind local
people that continuing their tradition of friendliness and
helpfulness to visitors goes a long way in promoting return visits
to our area."
The bureau's parade unit also featured a "Polar-oid" camera with
a flashing light as a means to distribute 2014 calendars to
attendees along the parade route.
Free calendars are still available in the tourism office for
those who missed the parade. Additional calendars will be
distributed to Logan County nursing homes and senior housing units.
The former county-run tourism board also donated a decorated tree
and gift certificates from seven Logan County restaurants for the
Dec. 7 Christmas tree auction that raised $230 for repairs and
maintenance at the Mount Pulaski Courthouse State Historic Site.
Another attraction, Abraham Lincoln's Geocaching Trail in Logan
County has been up and running since fall, with caches in Lincoln,
Atlanta, Mount Pulaski, Elkhart and Middletown. People who locate
the caches during the electronic treasure hunt can redeem cards in
the containers for souvenir postcards. More information about the
international sport is available at
Nearly 1,700 rack cards advertising the new trail have been
mailed to convention and visitor bureaus throughout Illinois.
Saul said the tourism office has two GPS units to loan to people
who would like to try geocaching. However the bureau needs help in
setting up the units. She requested that any volunteers with
expertise in that area call 217-732-8687.
Inquiries about tours for the 2014 tourist season have already
"One exciting aspect of tours during the coming year will be the
April 26 opening of the new Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln
College," Saul said. "The museum has already been named one of the
top 30 college museums in the world, and that was before it was
moved to its new, expanded location and all of the displays were
updated with the latest technology."
The tourism office has sent hundreds of Logan County Visitors
Guides to rest stops throughout Illinois and to Union Station in St.
Louis and Chicago, as well as to people who contact the bureau for
help in planning vacations.
The staff also checks with local motels on a regular basis to
make sure they have an adequate supply of visitor guides and
brochures with information about local eateries, shopping
opportunities and local history.
Saul said any Logan County business that would like to have
brochures to distribute is welcome to call the tourism office.
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Repairs were recently completed on the World's Largest Covered
Wagon to improve the appearance of the popular attraction and make
it structurally sound.
"We see people stopping to take pictures at the covered wagon in
all kinds of weather, at all hours of the day and evening," Saul
She and part-time administrative assistant Sandra Richardson of
Lincoln have also been asking visitors at the office to complete a
"Our stock of souvenirs is running low," Saul said, "and we would
rather find out what people are interested in, than just guess at
what they might want to purchase."
Richardson is in the process of refilling the rack of maps from
other states. The maps are available in the entryway to the tourism
bureau. Despite modern conveniences such as GPS units, the free maps
continue to be very popular with travelers.
"We're trying to use this slower time to good advantage," Saul
said, "so the office will be in good shape to hand over to the next
Richardson also updates the bureau's Facebook page with news of
local happenings. Saul and Richardson invite those with upcoming
events to send listings and JPG photos to the tourism bureau at
email@example.com, and they would
welcome new Facebook friends.
In November, the tourism board approved grant requests for
Christmas on Vinegar Hill, a square dance festival in Lincoln, the
1800s Craft Fair in conjunction with the Lincoln Art & Balloon
Festival, and the 2014 Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour,
which will again overnight in Lincoln.
In approving the requests, the board specifically asked how each
activity would draw overnight visitors to the community. Logan
County organizations that are planning events that will draw
overnight visitors are invited to inquire about the grants.
"Sandy and I have been guaranteed jobs at least until April 30,
when the board plans to have a new director in place," Saul said.
"Until that time, we're here to serve as best we can."
The Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County is funded by
local hotel-motel taxes and state grants. Since Dec. 1, the taxes
have been administered by the city of Lincoln.
The new tourism board met Dec. 9 to approve bylaws and discuss
staff. They also conferred about the upcoming Illinois Governor's
Conference on Travel & Tourism, which will meet Feb. 3-5 in Chicago.
Saul and several board members plan to attend.
For information about day-to-day tourism office activities, Saul
said people can reach her at 217-732-8687 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. For information
about board activities and future plans, contact Andy Anderson,
board president, at 217-737-9853 or
The office of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County
is in the Information Station, 1555 Fifth St. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5
p.m. weekdays, except for some holidays.
[Text from file received from
Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of