Illinois town fashions tourism message around hiding lawmakers

Posted Feb 26, 2011 by Michael Krebs
Releasing a video that asks travelers if they are "looking for someplace to hide," the Illinois town of Rockford sought to capitalize on the recent move by Wisconsin Democratic lawmakers to abandon their state and hide in neighboring Illinois.
Scott Walker is the Governor of Wisconsin
Scott Walker is the Governor of Wisconsin
In the business of economic development and tourism, there are times when positive news stories simply fall into your lap. The town of Rockford Illinois, just miles from the Wisconsin border, appeared to have found relevant tourism parallels with local current events - issuing a video vignette that offers would-be travelers a great place to hide.
"Looking for someplace to hide," the commercial asks. "Hide away in Rockford."
A microphone-wielding investigative reporter then begins asking various people if they are state senators from Wisconsin in hiding. The vignette features appearances by Lawrence Morrisey, the mayor of Rockford; John Grog, the president and CEO of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Rick Nielsen, long-time resident of Rockford and guitarist from the rock band Cheap Trick.
The advertisement invites viewers to visit, a URL that drives to a Facebook fan page.
The tongue-in-cheek commercial is well timed, as events in neighboring Wisconsin are still unfolding - with Fox Business reporting that the senators remain missing while state union workers are expected to lose their jobs.
Meanwhile, one Wisconsin state senator - speaking from Chicago - vowed to fight Wisconsin's Republican governor.
“His agenda is wrong for Wisconsin, and we’re standing our ground,” Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor said at a rally in Chicago, according to a report in the Chicago Sun Times.