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What phase four could look like for entertainment industries

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Rockford is 10 days away from moving into the fourth phase of the state's reopening plan. Some entertainment centers can open back up while others are going to have to wait.

Summer may look different this year but the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau says that's no reason to stop exploring what the region has to offer.

"Summer is not cancelled. There are lots of things that we all can continue to do," said RACVB President and CEO John Groh.

In phase four the state can open movie theaters and bowling allies with health guidelines and capacity limits. While this phase provides new entertainment opportunities many big festivals and sporting events will have to take the bench.

But two local groups are hoping other smaller opportunities and modifications will bring in tourism.

"Klehm Arboretum and Discovery Center and Nichols Conservatory and Anderson Gardens are not closed. While the experience might be different than you have experienced in the past or maybe you have never experienced these places before, we encourage people to get out and enjoy," said Groh.

"So if it is going to be sitting in pods in the middle of a field watching a movie or experiencing some local entertainers. Those are all possibilities and things we are working through," said RAVE Executive Director Troy Flynn.

Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment says 37 percent of ticket sales for the BMO Harris Bank Center and for the Coronado are from outside of Winnebago County.

"Some 400 million dollars on our regular year is spent here locally because of visitors. They contribute significantly to our tax base and put thousands of people to work," said Groh.

"Whether it be music or a broadcast of a sporting event, to get people comfortable and getting out in larger crowds," said Flynn.

Not only restoring Illinois but restoring tourism and travel.

The RACVB says it's being proactive about how to safely provide a stroll experience for the eighth annual Stroll on State. It says the biggest event of the year could be similar to the ones we have seen in the past or entirely different depending on state and local guidelines.

Cassandra Bretl

Multimedia Journalist
Cassandra is the morning reporter for 13 News Today.
She joined the WREX team in July of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a major, minor and a certificate.
She is excited to bring her skills back to the 815 where she is originally from.
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