A 6-foot-high pile of pillows made a formidable sight Tuesday morning in the lobby of the Family Museum in Bettendorf.
Each pillow represented five room-nights reserved during last year’s Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard promotion, which is entering its 12th year this weekend.
There were 71 pillows, so that equated 355 room-nights reserved for the weekend in 2012. In all, more than $100,000 was spent for lodging, in restaurants and at attractions around the Quad-City area.
Hotel Blackhawk general manager Tim Heim, who led a news conference hosted by the Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, said he saw a noticeable increase in reservations during the downtown Davenport hotel’s first year as a participant in the promotion.
“Right now is right after the holidays, a traditionally lower time,” he said after the news conference. “Adding additional 15, 20 room-nights when they’re only running between 25 and
35 percent occupancy really helps give us that lift.”
Discount coupons for this year’s event can be found at participating businesses or online at visitquadcities.com/beatourist/index.php.
For the first time last year, Be a Tourist expanded to two weekends. This year, it’s back to one weekend, but that does make way for a new week-long event.
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Quad-Cities Restaurant Week, taking place from Feb. 24 to March 3, will feature some of the area’s 700-plus eateries, offering special menus and bargains, said Jessica Waytenick, the
marketing and public relations manager for the convention and visitors bureau.
Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano in Davenport was added to the list of participants Monday after seeing success with a restaurant week at its Madison, Wis., location, she said. Heart of America Restaurants, which has several Quad-City restaurants, came on board after seeing boosts in sales at its Des Moines locations during a similar promotion, she said.
“We have great regional restaurant weeks all the way around us. We might as well have one in the Quad-Cities.”