Over its 180-year history, the tourist attractions and amenities in St. Charles have been known to provide visitors with snapshot memories and charming stories to write home about. This year, the Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau asked its visitors not only to write home about them but to share their own treasured St. Charles Stories with us to help tell the tales of the town's tourism triumphs.
As part of National Travel and Tourism Week, the Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau announced today that Kevin Bastian of Lisle was selected the winner of its inaugural "What's Your St. Charles Story?" contest.
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In this St. Charles-centric love story, Cupid's arrow finds Kevin on a rainy afternoon with his new girlfriend Suzie, walking downtown streets, perusing various shops and playing darts at the Filling Station Pub. The couple later describes spending their one-year anniversary together soaking in the hot tub atop the roof of the Hotel Baker's historic penthouse suite. The complete text of Bastian's story is listed below:
"Two of my fondest memories with my girlfriend, Suzie, have been centered around visits to St. Charles. Only a couple of weeks after first meeting, we spent a rainy afternoon walking the downtown streets and perusing shops before escaping the wet in the Filling Station Pub. We talked for hours, played darts and discovered a multitude of interests, goals and values that we shared with one another. At some point during that day, I realized she was everything I wanted in a partner and more and told her those three magic words. Luckily, she said them back. For our one-year anniversary, Suzie surprised me with a trip back to the town in which we fell in love, including dinner and an overnight stay in the Penthouse Suite of the historic Hotel Baker. The room's unique beauty was beyond words, and despite the chilly autumn temperatures, we spent hours relaxing in the cozy rooftop hot tub. Overlooking the scenic Fox River and bustling downtown streets as the sun set, we toasted our first fabulous year together and looked forward to the many happy memories we would share in years to come."
Bastian's story was among more than a dozen visitor-generated stories submitted during the Bureau's 2014 winter marketing campaign at www.StCharlesCharm.com. Through a two-week, online voting process, his story was selected by the voting public as the favorite among five finalists.
"Suzie and I are absolutely thrilled to have won this contest," said Bastian. "Our trips to St. Charles have been truly memorable, and we can't wait to spend more time there in the coming years. In fact, we'll be house hunting in the area very soon, so we might be spending much more time there."
For his efforts, Bastian will receive a Greater St. Charles getaway package including a two-night stay at Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott St. Charles, 2096 Bircher Road; dinner at ROX City Grill inside Hotel Baker, 100 W. Main St.; and concert tickets to a future show at Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St.
The Bureau will honor Bastian and the other four "Stories" finalists at their annual Tourism Breakfast at 8 a.m. Thursday, June 12, at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St.
As part of the breakfast event, the Bureau will also conduct a release party for their brand new 2014-15 Greater St. Charles, Illinois Visitors Guide entitled "Snapshot Memories -- Charming Stories." The new visitors guide contains all of the submitted St. Charles Stories from the winter marketing campaign.
The first full week of May is annually recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week, a tradition first celebrated in 1984, established by a Congressional joint resolution passed in 1983.
The Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau is funded by a portion of the hotel/motel tax collected by St. Charles hotels and by the Illinois Office of Tourism for the purpose of promoting Greater St. Charles as a destination for leisure tourists and meetings and conventions, sports events, and motor coach trips.