Mt. Vernon Register-News

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January 3, 2014

Projects gearing up for season

MT. VERNON — The City Tourism Department is prioritizing initiatives for the new year.

“We’ve completed a lot this last year,” said Bonnie Jerdon, tourism director. “We still have a lot of things in the works.”

Jerdon said the Tourism Advisory Board has already looked over the initiatives, many of which were recommended by the Destination Development, Inc., during a site visit a few months ago. The initiatives are now with the Branding Leadership Team for review.

Items in the works with Tourism include a new Internet web site, the wayfinding signage system, the Market Days program and a visit from “Mini Abe.”

Jerdon said one of the recommendations of DDI was to launch a new web site.

“They recommended we separate tourism from the city’s web site,” Jerdon explained. “We are doing that, and there will be two places online for visitors to get information.”

The new site, which is expected to be launched in late March, will be at www.enjoymtvernon.com.

“It’s a big undertaking,” Jerdon said. “It has all new photography and site design.”

The wayfinding system has been in the works for several months, with new signs designed directing visitors to sites and districts within the city. Jerdon said the designs of the signs themselves have been approved, but changes had to be made to the placement design plans submitted to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“The design plan is 95 percent complete,” Jerdon reported. “Next week, it will be complete and we will submit it to IDOT again. We’re not expecting any problems, as we made all the changes IDOT required to be made.”

The bid for the signs and putting them up is expected to be let in the spring.

Another endeavor which has a spring deadline on it is the improved Market Days program, which is done by Mt. Vernon Festivals, Inc., at the former armory building on Broadway.

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