SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has issued a Request for Proposals for a new operator for the Rend Lake Resort and Conference Center near Whittington in Franklin County.The Request for Proposals (RFP) document, which provides detailed information on the resort facilities and requirements for operation, can be found on the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov.The previous lease for the Rend Lake Resort and Conference Center was terminated last December, and finding a new concessionaire for the facility is top priority for the IDNR and for the office of Governor Bruce Rauner.“The Rend Lake Resort and Conference Center can serve as a shining light for southern Illinois tourism, and we are confident the resort can be a top destination for visitors from throughout the state and around the country,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal.“We are excited for the potential reopening of the Rend Lake Resort. This is an important part of an overall plan to market Southern Illinois to tourists, and even encourage our own neighbors to take advantage of all that our region has to offer,” State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) said. “I am optimistic that the resort will be a bigger and better draw for visitors once again.”“This place means a lot to the people that visit and to the people that live here. The Rend Lake Resort and Conference Center is truly a jewel for southern Illinois,” said State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Marion).“Sportsmen and anglers have flocked to the resort for many years and it is imperative that the resort get up and going again. Outdoor sports tourism is one of the largest draws to Southern Illinois and we need to ensure that our park infrastructure is modernized,” State Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Murphysboro) said. “This collaborative effort is a small start to a better, more inviting Rend Lake Resort.”“Rend Lake Resort and Conference Center is one of the most valued tourist attractions in Southern Illinois,” State Rep. Terry Bryant (R-Murphysboro) said. “I’m excited today because this announcement marks a new beginning. I want to encourage folks to invest their time and money into making this amazing attraction an economic engine for the region once again.”The RFP for the Rend Lake Resort and Conference Center can also be accessed through the Illinois Procurement Bulletin at www.purchase.state.il.us.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.