In the last 30 years, many people have had big expansion dreams for Rockford, Illinois, and here are 5 that we really wish would come true.

Big Rockford Dreams

While Googling some other Rockford things today I stumbled upon a Rockford Register Star article from 2014 that completely fascinated me. It was titled; "What Happened to...? 20 Ideas in 20 Years" and it was about unique attractions that almost came to reality in Rockford, Illinois.

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Getty Images
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While several of the 20 things the RRStar article talked about were things I remember being talked about, some of them weren't, and now I'm feeling a little bummed out.

How cool would it have been to have these things open in Rockford?!?

5 Unique Attractions That Almost Opened in Rockford, Illinois

1. Rockford Aquarium

Photo by Tim B Motivv on Unsplash
Photo by Tim B Motivv on Unsplash
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According to the RRStar; "A nonprofit group called Rockford Aquarium incorporated in July 2010 with a goal of bringing a world-class aquarium to Rockford. The idea hatched in 2008 to bring the aquarium to the old National Guard Armory on North Main Street." Fast forward over 13 years, Rockford still doesn't have an aquarium, BUT the Rockford Aquarium website is still active so maybe there's still hope?

2. Sinnissippi Tower 

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The Sinnissippi Tower proposal was part of the Rockford Park District's 10-year plan to redevelop space along the Rock River in 2002. This tower would have been Rockford's vision of the Space Needle and would have been hundreds of feet tall with an observation deck overlooking the river.

3. Cherry Valley Zoo 

Photo by Dmitry Chernyshov on Unsplash
Photo by Dmitry Chernyshov on Unsplash
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Back in 1997, a man named Ryan Cole proposed opening a zoo of exotic animals on a plot of land just outside of Cherry Valley, Illinois. The proposal originally got "conditional approval", but was eventually shot down after too many people complained about how the animals were treated.

4. Kiddieland 2.0

Boy and Girl on roller coaster ride at amusement park
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In 2010 there was talk of reviving the popular Kiddieland amusement park that used to be open on Forest Hills Road until the late 1970s, but it never got much farther than talks and dreams.

5Riverboat Casino

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In 1994 the City of Rockford submitted a bid to dock a Riverboat Casino on the Rock River, but they never received a state license. Perhaps that's a good thing because now we get Hard Rock Casino Rockford instead?

Which one of these things would you have wanted to open in Rockford? Send us a message on the app and let us know!

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