Illinois shuts down 13 out of 15 tourist centers


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The state government has shut down 13 of its 15 tourist information centers to try to save money.

Alka Nayyar is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. She says the closures could be short-term if the agency can get Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget office to sign off on a spending plan for the agency that includes contracts to run the centers.

The Western Illinois Tourism Development Office in Macomb ran the centers under a contract with the state. The office operated the centers for about a dozen years and was paid $2 million a year.

The state has a $13 billion budget deficit and has made spending cuts in a wide variety of programs.

Only tourist centers in Springfield and Chicago remain open.