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Conference Draws First Large Group to Pere Marquette

A large conference will draw thousands of women to the river city this weekend.
PEORIA - A large conference will draw thousands of women to the river city this weekend.
Housekeeping staff at the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette have a tall order. They’re working to straighten up rooms for what General Manager Laura Lojis said will be one busy weekend.

"About half of our hotel will be filled with guests from the women of faith group," Lojis said.

The group is bringing about 5,000 women into downtown Peoria to hold meetings and events at the Civic Center. Many of them booked as a group at the Pere, marking a milestone for the newly remodeled hotel.

"So far it is our largest group. We opened on June 28th and we've had some smaller groups staying in the hotel, but this is the largest to date so it's quite exciting for us," Lojis said.

The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau said groups like this aren't just good for hotels, but the whole area, too. Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sue Atherton said the visitors may spend time around town putting money into the local economy.

"A lot of times they take this as a girl’s weekend so they'll be also shopping and eating out and enjoying the conference at the civic center," Atherton said.

Lojis said a continuous flow of guests has kept the Pere Marquette busy in the seven weeks it's been open.

"We’ve sold out a couple of nights since we opened. Tuesday, Wednesday typically are the busiest nights in Peoria for us," Lojis said.

Most of the guests from the women of faith group will check in Friday for the conference, which goes through Sunday.
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