Rockford city leaders want residents, visitors to join the - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford city leaders want residents, visitors to join the misery

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Rockford residents Bill Chapen & Juanita Bridwell Rockford residents Bill Chapen & Juanita Bridwell

If misery loves company, Rockford city leaders say our area's bound to get a lot of visitors. They're responding to Forbes Magazine's recent ranking that the Forest City is one of the most miserable cities in the country. People who live in Rockford have mixed feelings about the new ad campaign.

"It's definitely good, I think Forbes needs to be more educated about Rockford. It's a great place to live with lots of things to do." -says 10-year resident Leo Cardot.

Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau administrators use Rockford's sights and sounds, with captions like "Misery never looked this beautiful." It's designed to boost tourism by highlighting features that add to Rockford's quality of life and economy. Campaign coordinators say if the city's miserable, they don't want to be happy.

"We know that it's really a great place to be and that's the message we're trying to send." -says RACVB Marketing Manager Bridget French.

Some residents think city leaders should focus on fixing what's wrong. For one couple, Bill Chapen and Juanita Bridwell, it's special education in schools since they have a child who needs an IEP. This problem has them checking out of the third most miserable city.

"We're leaving Rockford because of the situation, because we think there are other counties with better programs for education than Rockford definitely." -says Chapen.

Others think the city sending a positive message is a good thing.

"Then people will know that Rockford is not a miserable city, they'll see all the things we have to offer here that they can enjoy and things that we can do." -says 10-year resident Simone Locklund.

Up next for the campaign, a list of top 10 most "miserable" places in Rockford and nominating the city's most miserable person.

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