A new governor and some milestone anniversaries could combine to make 2015 a big year for tourism in Springfield. “We anticipate that there will be more activity at the statehouse this spring,” says Gina Gemberling, acting director of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. “More activity, of course, means more visitors into our community and more people spending dollars in our community. We like that – (more people) staying in our hotels.”
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Gemberling, who says she hopes the local attractions bounce back from an attendance low at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and cutbacks at other historic sites, anticipates Lincoln-related tourism will get a bump.
The Lincoln funeral will be re-enacted for its 150th anniversary. “It’s reflecting on Abraham Lincoln’s life and what a change he had in what happened with the nation,” she says. “We are having activities here that first weekend in May.”
Lincoln’s appeal, Gemberling says, is partly because he is a legend, partly explaining the bureau’s new slogan: “Always Legendary.”