Attracting New Visitors, Residents and Entrepreneurs

A coalition of Peoria Area organizations is kicking off the decade-long campaign Greater Peoria 2030 with the goal of growing the Greater Peoria Area population and economy. 

“We’re so excited to kick off this long-awaited campaign,” said J.D. Dalfonso, President and CEO of the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (Discover Peoria). “Greater Peoria 2030 will amplify the facts and stories we know to be true about the Greater Peoria Area — that this is a truly special place to live, work and grow through greater affordability and connectivity that translates into a better overall quality of life for all.”

The participating organizations, Discover Peoria, the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, the CEO Council, the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, the Morton Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Development Corporation, are working together to promote the diverse, creative population-driving revitalization efforts within the communities of the Peoria Metro Area. The campaign is being planned and executed by McDaniels Marketing of Pekin, Illinois, a destination marketing firm with decades of experience working with communities throughout the Midwest. 

Peoria 2030 Goals

Goals of the project:

  • Increase the population of the Greater Peoria Region
  • Attract businesses to the area with a talented workforce
  • Highlight the Peoria Area amenities that make it a desirable place to live, work and play
  • Communicate the positive quality of life attributes of the Peoria Area
  • Improve the Greater Peoria Area’s reputation in local and national circles

This group of local stakeholders agreed to work together as one entity and share resources to leverage all available local, state, and national resources within the community to market Greater Peoria and invite a range of audiences to “Discover Greater Peoria.” Discover Peoria will be the regional brand umbrella under which specific messages will be developed to target distinct audiences to encourage more people to visit, live, work and enjoy the area.

“One of the things we really want to highlight with the Greater Peoria 2030 campaign is the people,” said Joshua Albrecht, Chief Marketing Officer for Discover Peoria. “From store owners to community leaders to artists, the Greater Peoria Area is full of diverse, unique people from all walks of life doing incredible things to reshape and revitalize our communities, including arts and culture.”

The project has three life cycles: Short-term, 5-year and 10-year components.

The short-term goal of the Greater Peoria 2030 campaign is to attract residents from Chicagoland based on the Greater Peoria Area’s cost of living, quality of life, amenities and business investment opportunities— this includes ongoing training with realtors, HR professionals, and area thought leaders to shed light on the positive attributes of the Peoria metro area.

“We can’t afford to allow people to fill the vacuum with false information. We must define and tell our own stories. The new people being attracted to our area are already changing the narrative. This is an exciting time to invite everyone to become a part of a wonderful residential and business community that fosters inclusion and diversity, supported by valuable job skills training and opportunities to volunteer,” states Joshua Gunn, CEO, Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce.

The marketing campaign will highlight the advantages offered by the Greater Peoria Area compared to Chicago and its suburbs, such as more time to enjoy life with less traffic (Less Traffic • More Living) and the region’s dual identity as both urban and rural (True Urban • Boundless Country). Using digital advertising as well as outdoor advertising targeted at I-294 near O’Hare Airport, the Greater Peoria 2030 campaign will position the Greater Peoria Area as an area of great opportunity without the stress of higher costs. A greater value in the quality of life and for owning and operating a business.

Greater Peoria 2030 Ad Mock Up

In the long-term, the Greater Peoria 2030 campaign will measure each of the following key performance indicators in five - to 10-year increments:

  • Population growth per city
  • Quality of workforce
  • The rise in property values
  • Sales and property tax revenue
  • Hotel/motel tax revenue
  • New business start-ups
  • New housing starts
  • Homeownership
  • Number of jobs 
  • Regional GDP
  • Resident sentiment
  • Net promoter score

Also highlighted in the campaign will be stories of local businesses and startups that have helped rejuvenate and energize communities in the Greater Peoria Area.

“We want people to look at the Greater Peoria Area and see opportunities — not just for living, but for working as well. Small and large companies that have made their home in Peoria are thriving,” — Chris Setti, CEO of the Greater Peoria EDC.

“We want people to take notice of this and see there’s a lot of real opportunities for them to do the same, whether it’s in a historic downtown storefront or a newer retail development.”

The campaign will market attributes of all eight counties that Discover Peoria represents, including Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Mason, Fulton, Logan, Stark and Marshall counties.

“All the communities that make up the Greater Peoria Area have something unique to offer,” said Amy Whiting-McCoy, Executive Director for the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. “Through the Greater Peoria 2030 campaign, we can change the perceptions of quality of life in all of our cities, towns and villages by actively promoting the area’s assets to both potential new residents and visitors alike.”