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ST. LOUIS NEWS TODAY -

New Report Shows Missouri Set Records for Tourism
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 11, 2016 - Missouri set new tourism records in Fiscal Year 2016, Gov. Nixon announced recently during a visit to southwest Missouri's premier tourist destination, Silver Dollar City.

Citing figures from the FY16 annual impact report by Tourism Economics, a division of Oxford Economics, Missouri welcomed 41.7 million visitors, a 3.2 percent increase from the previous record of 40.4 million in Fiscal Year 2015.

Overall, the tourism industry had a $16.5 billion economic impact on Missouri in FY16, up from $15.9 billion in the previous fiscal year. During Gov. NixonÕs administration, tourismÕs total economic impact in Missouri has increased by 34 percent.

"Visitors to our state strengthen local communities and support hundreds of thousands of jobs, resulting in a multi-billion industry here in Missouri," Gov. Nixon said. "From the great outdoors, to bustling metropolises, to unique getaways in between, thereÕs something for everyone in Missouri."

Additionally, tourism-related spending in Missouri increased to $13.1 billion in FY16, up from $12.4 billion the previous fiscal year according to the Missouri Department of Revenue. Direct tourism-related employment also increased to 307,937 jobs, up from 297,129 in FY15, according to the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The Missouri Division of Tourism has awarded $25.6 million dollars in matching grants to local destination marketing organizations. The efforts of those organizations are critical to Missouri's success in the highly-competitive tourism industry.

The FY17 budget follows the Governor's recommendation to include an additional $3 million to expand the Division of TourismÕs marketing efforts to bring more visitors to Missouri.

Earlier this year, the Governor also announced that attendance at the Missouri State Fair increased in 2016 with 356,153 fairgoers visiting the Fair, an increase of 4,000 attendees from 2015 figures.

Missouri State Parks also saw record guests in 2016 with, at last count, more than 19.2 million guests visiting state parks and historic sites. Prior to Gov. NixonÕs administration, Missouri State Parks had experienced a ten-year decline in attendance.


Deep Freeze December 2016
Rendering of forecast courtesy Accuweather.com
Piercing Cold Will Send Temperatures Tumbling This Week
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 11, 2016 - The impending cold shot threatens to be the most far-reaching and bone-chilling blast so far this season, according to Accuweather.com.

"After the first true cold shot of the year this past week, much of the northern Plains can expect a more formidable shot of arctic air again this upcoming week," AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido said.

The core of the cold will grip the North Central states on Tuesday, before reaching the Northeast, including the Interstate-95 corridor, on Thursday. Fargo, North Dakota; Minneapolis; Chicago; and Madison, Wisconsin, are a handful of the cities that will bear the brunt of the frigid conditions.

"Temperatures from the northern and central Plains to much of the Midwest are likely to be 5 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit lower, on average, when compared to levels this past week," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

High temperatures will be in the single digits to slightly below zero for multiple days from the Dakotas through Minnesota and Wisconsin. Highs during this past week's cold outbreak were in the teens and lower 20s in these same areas.

Highs in Chicago may not reach 10 degrees Fahrenheit by Thursday.

"Temperatures this low are 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit below average," Vido said.

Low temperatures in the Midwest will plummet well below zero for most beginning as early as Monday night.

"This will be dangerous early season cold with AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures near or below zero during the day," Vido said. "At night, RealFeel Temperatures will plummet over 10 degrees below zero throughout the region."

Some of the chill, while not as extreme, will reach part of the South. On Thursday, temperatures from Little Rock, Arkansas, to Nashville and Atlanta will be a few degrees lower when compared to the lowest point reached this past week. However, the cooler air does not appear likely to reach areas as far south as Tampa and Orlando, Florida.

Another cold blast may follow across the northern tier of the country during the third week of December.


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