Dozens of women turned out to Park Lanes on Saturday for the first day of the 87th Annual Illinois State USBC Women’s Bowling Association Championship Tournament.
In addition to having a long title, the tournament has a long history in Rockford and Loves Park.
The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau says this is the 12th time the tournament has been held here.
“We’re thrilled to welcome them back. And in welcoming them now for 12 times, Rockford has hosted this tournament more than any other city in the state of Illinois in the tournaments 90 or so year history,” said RACVB President and CEO John Groh.
Over the course of the next 10 weekends, around 3,000 woman from across the state will come to stay in the Forest City, something the RACVB says will give Rockford an economic boost.
“These women who are here will spend somewhere between three quarters (of a million) and a million dollars while they’re coming to our region,” said Groh. “And that’s economic development, and that’s really what tourism is all about.”
Esther Torry, President of the Peoria Women’s Bowling Association, has been participating in the tournament for over 45 years and says Rockford always does a great job hosting it.
“Rockford’s been very gracious, and they just put out the welcoming mat for all of our bowlers, our women bowlers, and we really appreciate that,” said Torry.
Another long time participant, Nancy Sommer, says the tournament is a great way to connect with other female bowlers.
“Oh it’s great. You meet wonderful gals from all over the state, and we have such good support from Loves Park and Rockford. It’s nice,” said Sommer.