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      HCVB enjoying increased revenue

      (Hannibal, Mo.) Many areas and businesses around the country continue to struggle as the economy shows no signs of strengthening.

      But the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau is seeing another record year or revenue.

      The HCVB will end this fiscal year increasing revenues and expenditures by nearly $100,000.

      And it will have a carry over balance of more than $80,000.

      The new budget for 2009-2010 fiscal year has a projected income of more than a half million dollars.

      Executive Director of the bureau Beau Hicks credits some of the increase to people staying closer to home because of the economy, but he feels theres more to it.

      "Yeah I think people are staying closer to home," said Hicks. "I also think the upgrades of our interstates, with 36, 72 and 61, of course figure into that. Hannibal is going to be a center point of 3 main arteries to our country."

      Hicks says 100% of the increased revenue will be pumped right into advertising and marketing.

      A new marketing plan is another thing Hicks credits with the increase in revenue.

      One of the biggest areas the Convention and Visitors Bureau is marketing to is St. Louis.

      Hicks says nearly 60% of traffic that comes to Hannibal is from the St. Louis area.