Two Illinois parks and recreation organizations have presented the Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) with a Community Service Award on behalf of the Fox Valley Park District.
The award was delivered in advance of the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) and Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) joint annual conference, scheduled to occur January 28-30, 2021.
The award recognizes the CVB for its “outstanding contributions and unselfish devotion for the advancement of parks, recreation and leisure in the community and the State of Illinois.”
Fox Valley Park District nominated the Aurora Area CVB for the award.
“The Aurora Area CVB is honored to receive this recognition, and is grateful to the Fox Valley Park District for their nomination,” said Cort Carlson, Executive Director of the Aurora Area CVB.
“The Fox Valley Park District is pleased to formally recognize the Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau through our state associations,” said Jim Pilmer, Executive Director of the Fox Valley Park District. “While the Aurora Area CVB shines a spotlight on many of our attractions, its work in the youth sports sector has made Stuart Sports Complex a nationally renowned brand for tournament play.”
The Aurora Area CVB has capitalized on its partnership with the Fox Valley Park District to position Stuart Sports Complex and the Aurora Area as a destination for youth and amateur sporting events. This partnership has earned each organization recognition by sports event trade publications, including a SportsEvent Magazine “Readers Choice” Award for Stuart Sports Complex, as well as wins in 2018 and 2019 for champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism Awards granted by Sports Destination Management.
“Youth and amateur sports are a major component of travel and tourism to the Aurora Area, and having Stuart Sports Complex in our region is a game-changer,” said Carlson. “Over the last five years, the estimated economic impact of sports travel to the Aurora Area is nearly $12 million. Out of town athletes, their families, and spectators frequent local hotels, as well as shop, dine, and entertain at local businesses.”
Encompassing 317 acres, including over 30 flat fields and 8 lighted flex fields for baseball and softball, Stuart Sports Complex is ranked as the 4th largest outdoor sports complex in the nation. The Aurora Area CVB regularly books major youth and amateur sports tournaments at the Stuart Sports Complex, ranging from lacrosse and soccer to disk sports and flag football.
“The Aurora Area CVB works tirelessly to promote many of our attractions to users both in and around the Chicagoland area,” said Pilmer. “Together, our work highlighting Stuart Sports Complex has brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region, garnered national acclaim in print and online, and bolstered the local economy. As the pandemic wanes, their partnership will be even more crucial to our future growth.”