State bowling tournament rolls into Rockford for 10 weekends beginning Feb. 18
Online Staff Report
More than 5,000 bowlers will roll into the Rockford region over 10 weekends to take part in the Illinois Women’s Bowling Association’s (IWBA) 2012 state tournament. The event brings nearly 500 bowlers and fans to the area each weekend. They will fill an estimated 6,000 hotel room nights and spend an estimated $1.5 million while in the region.
The tournament kicks off with the statewide annual meeting Feb. 18 at the Clock Tower Resort. The competition, themed “Sock Monkey and You in 2-0-1-2,” begins Feb. 25 at Don Carter Lanes and Forest Hills Lanes, and runs for eight additional weekends. IWBA last came to Rockford in 2004, when they held their 75th annual state tournament.
Laura Heller, president of the Rockford Women’s Bowling Association, said: “The bowlers wanted to come back to the Rockford region. We have great bowling facilities, many fine restaurants and a fantastic variety of hotel/motels. There’s something for every budget. Plus, they loved the sock monkey theme idea.”
The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is working with local businesses to ensure this group is properly welcomed. The bureau has distributed directions and maps identifying area hotels and bowling centers and created roadway and venue and hotel welcome signs for each event. Information tables will be staffed to assist visitors with questions and directions. Additionally, RACVB has helped coordinate several dinners and a welcome ceremony, arranging speakers, decorations, a color guard and more.
Don Carter Lanes and Forest Hills Lanes, locally owned by John Sommer, has worked diligently to provide a high-quality tournament experience for the bowlers during the tournament.
The tournament dates are as follows: Feb. 17-19 (annual meeting — no bowling); Feb. 24-26 (opening bowling weekend); March 2-4; March 9-11; March 16-18; March 23-25; March 30-April 1; April 13-15; April 20-22; and April 27-29.
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