Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism brings people and cheesecake to Springfield

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Springfield- Illinois Tourism....and Cheesecake. It's not something you typically thing of as going together, but the Illinois Office of Tourism and Eli's Cheesecake are hoping to change that. 

Eli's Cheesecake is now part of the Illinois Made program, making it the first global participant in the program. The announcement was made during the annual Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism. 

"Now we are introducing new global brands like Eli's Cheesecakes. Eli's is now a new proud partner of the Illinois Made program. It's a company that's been in Illinois for many, many years. Has a fantastic factory and unique customer experience." said Cory Jobe, Director of the Illinois Department of Tourism. 

"It's great to be here, so we are really honored that the Governor's Conference is in Springfield and that Cory and the state recognized us as being an Illinois Maker. I don't think there is really anything better you can get." said Marc Schulman, President of Eli's Cheesecake. 

It's honor for the company to become part of the program which spotlights and celebrates makers, artisans, and craftspeople of Illinois. Schulman's father began the company, and realized what an important role tourism played in the success of Illinois. "My dad  believed that tourism was critical to the success of the state and Chicago. So the fact that here we are here years later, still a family business, still committed to getting the word out and being artisans. I think he would be very happy." said Schulman. 

The annual conference is being held in Springfield for the second year in row, and helps to boost the local economy. "Those 400 stakeholders are generating a lot of room nights, a lot of visits to gift shops, restaurants and bars, the nightlife. This type of conference is very important to the overall local economy." said Jobe. 

Jobe says, it is not just Downtown Springfield that is benefiting from the influx of people from the conference. "Think about all the small businesses that we are impacting. So for instance we have hired several caterers, several bar services,  we have linen companies, florist who have all been hired to provide services and products during the three days. So not only are we stimulating the local economy through the businesses that are here in the downtown, but we are also helping small business owners who provide a product to the industry."

Eli's Cheesecake celebrated the announcement by creating a 300-pound Illinois Made-inspired Eli's Honest Abe Apple-Topped Original Plain Cheesecake, shaped as the Illinois State Capitol. 

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