In 2013, the Quad Cities reaped nearly $1 billion from those visiting the area, a trend that continues to rise, according to Joe Taylor with the Quad Cities Convention Visitor's Bureau. There's several factors that statistic can be attributed to, and Quad City officials said the continuous flow of events in the area has helped.
This weekend, officials anticipate the 2014 Amateur Softball Association's National Northern Regional Championship will deliver an extra boost to the area's economy. Beginning Thursday, sixty-seven teams from all corners of the Midwest will compete at the Green Valley Sports Complex in Moline. The park's staff, employed by Moline Parks and Recreation, are used to preparing the park's eight diamonds for the tournament.
"From my experience, this place is always complete pandemonium," said Greg Johnson, a Parks and Recreation employee who's prepared the park all year for the games. "We come in and fill all the holes, chalk the diamond and then water the field at night."
Wednesday, crews worked the park, raking sand, mowing and cleaning. Johnson said the park needs to be in tip-top shape. The ASA tournament is a vital piece to the Quad Cities' economy, and it gives the area another chance of hosting the event in the future.
This week, tournament officials expect the ASA tournament to draw nearly $1 million.
"People come from about eight different states and they eat here, get gas here and hopefully they enjoy the Quad Cities and come back to vacation," said Laura Duran from Moline Parks and Recreation.
According to Joe Taylor, the more visitors in the Quad Cities, the better the odds of bringing new jobs.
"There is a direct correlation between the quality of life that tourism delivers, and the decisions to take a job, open a business or buy a home here."