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Community Introduction

The city of Marion is situated in beautiful southern Illinois – an area featuring logistic dynamics, world-class outdoor activities, workforce opportunities and renowned educational facilities. Marion delivers a hometown feel while obtaining steady growth and successful economic development. Marion is an affordable, convenient and friendly place to live.

Established in Williamson County in 1841, Marion has transformed into a community of more than 17,000 residents. Nicknamed “The Hub of the Universe,” Marion has become a magnet for industry, shopping and restaurants. With a historic downtown area offering unique shops, arts and entertainment and a historic library, Marion has successfully blended the old and the new. As the city has grown, careful planning has led to the creation of enterprise zones, industrial parks, TIF districts and, most recently, the development of Boulder Creek on the Hill.

Marion’s location at the crossing of Interstate 57 and Route 13 make it an ideal location for restaurants and shops. In 2006, Walmart opened one of its largest retail stores in the nation in Marion. With the development of The Hill, a rapidly growing, 175-acre commercial business area, other large retailers like Menards opened in Marion. In 2012, several new restaurants and businesses started construction and growth is expected to continue.

Abundant attractions offer visitors and residents a wide variety of cultural, outdoor and sporting activities. The Links at Kokopelli Golf Club, designed by Steve Smyers, is an 18-hole course providing a quality golf experience along with dining and banquet facilities. Rent One Park, built in 2007, is home to the minor league baseball team, the Southern Illinois Miners, which is a member of the Frontier League. The park is known for providing an outstanding baseball experience, including fireworks after every Friday night home game. The Marion Cultural and Civic Center, located on the square in downtown Marion, is a state-of-the-art theater facility constructed in 2004. The theater comfortably seats 1,065 and features some of the best theatrical and concert venues in the region. With all of these attractions to explore, staying for a night or two will be no problem with over 1,200 hotel rooms to choose from in Marion.

If you prefer the outdoors, Marion has nine city parks and a public swimming pool facility. Jump in your car and take a short drive to any of the parks in the region that feature hiking, camping, boating and more. Of course, don’t forget that Marion is the gateway to a host of wineries and vineyards in southern Illinois. Illinois received its first American Viticultural Area recognized by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Southern Illinois’ Shawnee Hills region is the state’s first region acknowledged for its distinctive winemaking properties. Spend a day traveling throughout the area experiencing this wonderful authentic wine culture.

Marion is filled with opportunities for residents and visitors. The unique assets of the city showcase a quality of life unmatched in the region. With a fine selection of homes, excellent schools and state-of-the-art health care, there’s no wonder why 17,193 – and growing – already call Marion home. w

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