Friday, March 01, 2013
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Palms Grill & Atlanta awarded, recognized & promoted at Illinois Governor's Conference on Tourism

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[March 01, 2013]  ATLANTA -- Lumi Bekteshi, head waitress at the Palms Grill Café in Atlanta, has won the Best Supporting Actress award at the Illinois Governor's Conference on Tourism in Rosemont Feb. 27 to March 1. The award is part of a series of new Illinois Office of Tourism "Lincoln Awards" given out this year at the conference. The awards were inspired by the Oscar-nominated Steven Spielberg blockbuster film "Lincoln."

"Everyone in Atlanta is very proud of Lumi and all her accomplishments, especially her pie baking! This has been a big year for her; first she became a U.S. citizen and now she's a best supporting actress. She's living the American dream, and we're happy she calls Atlanta home," said Bill Thomas.

Thomas, a longtime entrepreneur and promoter of tourism in the community, was instrumental in driving the reopening of the iconic Route 66 diner and adjacent Atlanta Museum in May 2009. This process included grant funding from the Illinois Office of Tourism and the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. The diner is located on the original section of Route 66 at 110 SW Arch St. in Atlanta.

In addition, a promotional video featuring the Atlanta Route 66 tourism success story was featured with the conference's keynote address by Jen Hoelzle, deputy director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. Hoelzle emphasized the 43 percent increase in the city's sales tax revenue since the reopening of the Palms Grill. Atlanta and the Palms Grill are also featured by the state tourism office in new television and print media campaigns that were also unveiled at the conference.

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The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway and Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County congratulate Lumi Bekteshi, Bill Thomas, Atlanta Mayor Fred Finchum, the citizens of the community and traveling patrons to the Palms Grill and Atlanta.

[Text from file received from Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County]

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