Residents hope for increased tourism after Expedia article - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Residents hope for increased tourism after Expedia article

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MAKANDA -- After taking the top get-away destination in Illinois from travel company Expedia, some Makanda residents say the extra recognition is welcomed.

"The more publicity we ever get, it's always better for us," Allan Stuck said.

Stuck is just one of the few hundred people living in Makanda. Designing unique jewelry pieces is his passion and his life. He said it's the artists that helped bring the recognition to the little community.

"We all travel in different areas of the country and do shows. We bring this awareness back to Makanda," he said.

Naming Makanda as the best place to escape in Illinois,an Expedia writer said it's not hard to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life.

Philip Beck, owner of the Makanda Country Store, said the art combined with the location are what makes this town a prime get away location.

"If you think about where we're at, we're right by a state park and that's in the Shawnee National Forest. So really, there's not much around here," Beck said.

It's that secluded environment that drew both of them here decades ago.

"I came here from Chicago 55 years ago and never went back," Stuck said.

"We are kind of in the boonies and people really get that feel and they think they've escaped when they get here, which is nice," said Beck.

With the help from sites like Expedia, Allan hopes that more people will come to take in what Makanda has to offer.

"I think as the years go on, it's going to continue increasing the awareness of people of this artist community here in Makanda," he said.

To see the full Expedia article, click here.

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