"The Home of Superman," an ancient Native American city, a casino on the river, the birthplace of an African American film pioneer. These are just some of the unique things that drive tourism to Metropolis, Illinois. The Greater Metropolis Convention & Visitor's Bureau has a new director, returning to the position she initially helped create. On Sounds Good, Matt Markgraf speaks with director Trish Steckenrider about how the organization has grown, initiatives coming next year and some lesser known aspects of tourism in the community.
Steckenrider says enhancing tourism enhances the quality of life for locals as well. Her initial role in developing tourism in Metropolis was the get the effort off the ground, building a website that features grant applications and visitor services. Now, the organization has transformed into the Greater Metropolis Convention & Visitors Bureau, officially recognized as the marketing arm for Metropolis, increasing responsibilities for the advisory board.
In 2016, she plans to update and improve the website, adding local area grants and streamlining the application process. She'll also work to add more local events to the site and ways to book hotels directly through the site as well.
Metropolis is a "hub and spoke" destination, where people can stay for a week and explore regional tourism (from the wineries in southern Illinois to Land Between the Lakes). She says many people come for the hunting. With Harrah's casino and hotel, Metropolis has stronger lodging facilities than other places in southern Illinois. There's also Fort Massac, Kincaid Mounds, scuba diving around a sunken airplane, Oscar Micheaux and the historic Massac Theatre and always families out taking photos in front of the Superman statue.