Photo by Eric Crowley/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
FRANKLIN COUNTY – Standing in front of the shuttered Rend Lake Resort Wednesday afternoon with other local and state officials, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that the long-awaited renovation of the popular resort will get underway next year with an investment of more than $17.5 million.
“With this funding we are strengthening our tourism industry, our economy, our recreational offerings, and our holistic and social wellbeing all in one,” the governor continued.
State Rep. Dave Severin of Benton said the potential with the renovation is “amazing.”
The Rend Lake Resort is located at the 3,300-acre Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area and is operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the shore of Rend Lake in Franklin and Jefferson counties.
The resort opened in May of 1991, but closed down in 2016 after mold was discovered in the hotel and other buildings, requiring extensive remediation throughout the site.
At the height of its operation, the resort drew 2.4 million visitors annually and employed up to 125 staff members. It had an estimated economic impact of nearly $245 million in 2010, and occupancy rates were around 90% during the high-season period between late spring and late fall.