Peoria CVB


Volume 1, Issue 2 - December 2011 - February 2012

Holiday Announcements 

Holiday Party 2012

PACVB Holiday Party - Thank you! 

Thanks to all of our wonderful partners who attended the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau 2011 Holiday Party on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at the Spirit of Peoria! Each year we look forward to seeing you at this event and appreciate the support and hard work over the years that help make the PACVB an asset to the Peoria Area community!


Kightlinger Antiques Holiday Party - Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who came out to support Kightlinger Antiques & Collectibles holiday open house Nov. 17.  Owner Jim Kightlinger impressed visitors by decorating the store from floor to ceiling with 80 trees, more than 65,000 ornaments and 10,000 lights. 

He also offered wine, refreshments
and appetizers to guests while
they perused the massive variety of Kightlingerornaments and other holiday-inspired gifts. Many in attendance started their holiday shopping early and purchased an ornament or two or three.   

If you missed the event, don't worry.  The largest Christmas shop in central Illinois is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  A short five minute drive west from The Shoppes at Grand Prairie, Kightlinger Antiques & Collectibles is located on U.S. Route 150 across from Ludy's saloon and restaurant in Kickapoo. For more information, check out the store on Facebook or call (309) 589-0820.


Need a venue to host your office's holiday party? 

Consider the Gateway Building, located downtown on Peoria's beautiful riverfront.  This affordable, convenient site offers comfort and versatility in a unique setting.  Give it a shot!  The Gateway Building could be the new home for your annual banquet, next meeting or conference.  Call Scott Mueller, coordinator of Gateway Events, at (309)494-6713 for details.

For a complete listing of available meeting, banquet and conference space in the Peoria Area, go to for information. 


New Peoria memorabilia for sale

Looking for that last minute gift to put under the tree or to give at the office's holiday gift exchange?  Head down to the PACVB's Riverfront Visitors Center and check out our newly expanded collection of souvenirs bearing thPeoria Merchandisee Peoria logo.

Postcards, baseball hats, coffee mugs, water bottles, key chains, lapel pins, writing pens, magnets and lighters all bearing the Peoria name are for sale.  The memorabilia is affordable too.  Prices range from 50 cents to $15. 

We also sell Illinois geo coins, Spirit of Peoria merchandise and several books authored by local residents.  Acrylic cityscape painter Tom Gross of East Peoria has several pieces of artwork on display, also available to purchase.      

The Riverfront Visitors Center is located in Downtown Peoria at 110 NE Water St.  At 157 years old, it's the oldest commercial building standing in Peoria. It serves as a one-stop shop for information on the Peoria Area, offering maps, brochures, friendly service and more.  Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday. Call 309-672-2860 with any questions. 

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Partnership Benefits

Get your 2012 Peoria Area Visitors Guides

Be sure to contact Lelonie Luft,, if your place of business would like copies of the new 2012 Peoria Area Visitors Guide. The guides are set to be here before Jan. 1! Click to view the 2012 guide virtually! 

Thank you to all of our partners who helped make this guide happen! Thank you to all who advertised in the 2012 guide and to M & D Printing in Henry, IL for printing and distribution.  


Peoria Area CVB

Annual Meeting

Date: February 9, 2012

Time: 8-10AM

Location: Peoria Civic Center

More to come! 


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Don't forget about membership benefits that give you extra exposure.

As part of your partner membership benefits with the PACVB you can create online coupons and discount offerings. This benefit allows you to promote and market your special packages, discount offers and coupons online at  

As a partner, you have the ability to add and update your coupons and offerings within your PACVB account sign-on or we can assist you with getting your coupon or offering online.

Website visitors can print or forward these coupons and offerings to friends as well. Whether you're a restaurant, hotel, attraction, service agent, shopping center or retail store, this is a great way to attract consumers to your locations.  The PACVB also will print and distribute some of these coupons at trade shows, sporting events, the Riverfront Visitors Center and soon to the Visitors Center at the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport.

Don't miss out on this FREE membership/partnership benefit.  It's a great way to market your business and get extra exposure!

 If you currently have an online coupon or offering that expires 12/31/11, don't forget to update or add to your current coupon offering online as soon as possible.

Contact Lelonie Luft at 309-282-3283 or with any questions. 

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Partner Spotlight 

Local B&B's Win Awards B & Bs named Mission Oak Inn one of the Top 15 Culinary bed and breakfasts in the world and Midwest Living chose the Chestnut Street Inn as one of the Midwest's favorite bed and breakfasts.  These accreditations pair nicely with the inns several other awards they have received since welcoming guests to their properties.

Mission Oak Inn opened December 2006 and is located on 120 acres of lush property in Henry.  The inn offers luxurious lodging in a quiet, comfortable atmosphere - a perfect place for a weekend getaway, honeymoon or fishing vacation.  Attractions include a 7-acre lake, regular visits from area resident wildlife, like deer, fox, coyote, turkey and several varieties of birds, on-site gourmet restaurant, personal cooking lessons from the inn's chef and free homemade dessert each evening.

The Chestnut Street Inn's gourmet Mediterranean cuisine made with locally grown food is what helped it stand out from other bed and breakfasts in the Midwest. Located in Sheffield, the inn offers a $30 four-course dinner that foodies rave about and Chef Monika's monthly cooking classes and demonstrations are a popular venture. At Chestnut Street Inn, experience ultimate relaxation from the hectic pace of life. 


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Featured Partner Q & As

Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino

Cori Rutherford

Cori Rutherford

Vice President and

General Manager


At the helm of the Par-A-Dice Hotel & Casino since April, 37-year-old Peoria native Cori Rutherford oversees 820 employees at the property.  In the business since 1994, she started as a part-time slot club attendant at the Par-A-Dice before venturing to other casino properties in Missouri, Indiana, Iowa and Mississippi.  Those positions helped shape her career as she worked up the ladder and prepared Rutherford for her return to Illinois.  In September 2005, she took over as the Director of Marketing at the Par-A-Dice and in January 2010 was promoted to Director of Operations.  Just over a year later, she was selected as the casino's new Vice President and General Manager.  Rutherford is the youngest person to assume this position at a Boyd Gaming property. 


Was your career goal to become general manager?

Honestly, I didn't realize how much I wanted to be a general manager until I became one.  Subconsciously, it was my career goal because now that I have the job it is my goal to always be one.


Are you the only woman to be named a Vice President/General Manager of a Boyd Gaming property?

No, I am one of four.  Kim Etland is the VP/GM in Shreveport, La., Toni Burns is the VP/GM in Tunica, Miss., and Kerrie Burke is the VP/GM at Gold Coast Las Vegas.


What are the challenges of being a general manager? 

It is challenging to balance being a general manager, wife and mother to a 2-year-old.  I have learned that quality is more important than quantity with my family and that I have to stay grounded.  It is easy to take this job too personally.  To me, every guest we have and every team member matters, and if they are unhappy, I do take it personally.  


What do you love most about your job? 

Hands down - the people.  I love everything about working with our team members.  I care very much about them and their families and enjoy working with such an amazing group of people. 


Can you share any new and upcoming attractions on the horizon at the Par-A-Dice? 

We always have something going on.  We are hoping to make some changes to our food offerings here in the next year and our slot floor is always changing with the latest games there are. 


What do you like most about the Peoria area? 

It's home.  My family is here.  This community is amazing.  Out of all the places I have lived, it is by far my favorite and the only place I would choose to raise my son. 


What is one thing people may not know about you? 

I used to want to be a funeral director, a much different career path than I ended up with. 


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Lelonie Luft

Partnership Sales Manager

In This Issue

Holiday Announcements 

Get in the holiday spirit! Holiday announcements, invites and more.

Partnership Benefits

Be sure to ask for copies of the new 2012 Peoria Area Visitors Guide - Available Jan. 1st! Or view it on now!

Partner Spotlight

An inside look at one of our Peoria Area CVB partners.

Chestnut Street Inn

Mission Oak Inn 

Featured Partner Q & As

Get informed about neighboring businesses; what they have going on, their challenges and accomplishments.

Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino


Coupons & Hot Deals

Hotel Special Packages

Visitors Guide

Photos & Videos