Geneva Digital Publication


Chairman of the Board’s Welcome

Geneva is a place where residents and guests to our community prosper from the genuine warmth of those who work and live here. It is a place known for its vibrant activities.

We are a community that has the commitment of the Chamber and city volunteers who create a core spirit and make Geneva a spectacular gathering place in which we can come together and celebrate our community spirit and our hometown life.

We are proud of our city staff, police department, fire department, local officials, downtown merchants, dining venues, volunteers and residents. This human tapestry makes Geneva a wonderful place to live and visit. It creates a blending of vibrant experiences into a destination city where all participants can enjoy friendship, laughter and family life.

Robert F. Kennedy explained the benefits of a strong community as: “It is not more bigness that should be our goal. We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to … the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility … and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives and their children’s future.”

That is exactly what Geneva has given to each and every one of us who either call Geneva our home or who drop in for a visit. It is those opportunities to share, celebrate life and participate in the essence of American life that make up the fabric of the best qualities of our country. Welcome to our little niche of the world that is known as a “Picture Postcard” called Geneva.

Scott Lebin
Chairman of the Board
Geneva Chamber of Commerce


Chamber Welcome

Since 1922, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce has acted as a catalyst for positive and progressive growth in the community. A nonprofit organization, the Chamber fosters quality business practices, community involvement and a diversity of educational, cultural and entrepreneurial opportunities. Under the leadership of the board of directors, the full-time Chamber staff administers the day-to-day operations. The organization benefits from a successful partnership with the City of Geneva. The two entities work closely together to promote the community, its traditions and the seasonal events that generate tax revenue, create jobs and showcase the historic downtown.

The Geneva Chamber of Commerce membership consists of over 500 businesses, industries, professionals, organizations and individuals that support economic and community development. The Chamber provides services to its members as well as to the overall business sector, the residents of the Fox Valley area and the visitors to the community. Members benefit from referrals, networking events, seminars and public relations coverage. The entire entrepreneurial community profits from the healthy business climate cultivated in part by the Chamber’s efforts. Residents of and visitors to the Fox River Valley enjoy the advantages of an area rich in opportunities, activities and appeal.

The Geneva Chamber of Commerce also serves as a tourism center, bringing thousands of visitors to Geneva each year. Visitors and residents can take advantage of our Geneva Visitor Center, located below our office on Third Street. Questions on what to do, where to eat, stay and shop can quickly be answered by our staff.

Noted for its exceptional festivals and events, the community boasts four major festivals that have enjoyed a time-honored history of quality entertainment and high attendance. In 2018, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce celebrated the 69th Swedish Days Festival, the 17th Geneva Arts Fair, the 39th Festival of the Vine and the 61st Christmas Walk and House Tour. The Chamber also coordinates January Restaurant Week, April City-Wide Geneva Garage Sale and summer Thursday night Classic Car Shows.

Visit genevachamber.com for information about the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Geneva festivals and events, a calendar of happenings in Geneva and a tourism brochure. The Geneva Chamber of Commerce can also be reached at (630) 232-6060.

Geneva Chamber of Commerce


Mayor’s Welcome

Dear Friends,

Any successful community, regardless of size, owes its success to the collaboration and cooperation of all stakeholders. The City of Geneva is a model for this spirit of working together while recognizing that the path toward success requires all of us to pitch in and help avoid at best and ameliorate at least any obstacles that prevent such a journey. “

Geneva’s success – its very brand – is often imitated but seldom duplicated. Our brand includes our government partners who provide excellent schools, highly regarded parks and recreation programs and an innovative and responsive library district. Geneva’s success also features residents of all ages engaged in civic and philanthropic affairs, industry partners that are market leaders, a healthy and diverse downtown business district and our physical environment. All those characteristics combined make our city the picture-perfect canvas to live, learn, work, play and raise a family.

More than 400,000 visitors come to Geneva every year to experience our hospitality and warm welcome. Thanks to all Geneva has to offer, people return time and again for another dose of the Geneva brand, the same brand you helped make possible.

My best,

Kevin Burns
Mayor
City of Geneva


Community Living

The quaint city of Geneva is a growing Chicago suburb offering the best of both worlds: A deep appreciation for its rich past and an enthusiastic outlook for its promising future. Today, Geneva is home to approximately 22,000 residents and welcomes thousands of visitors annually who take pleasure in its distinctive hometown atmosphere. With its location along the scenic Fox River, Geneva benefits from a beautiful backdrop for its charming shopping district, year-round festivals and a myriad of recreational opportunities.

Geneva’s storied past begins with the arrival of its first settler, Daniel Shaw Haight, in the early 1830s. After building a cabin along the Fox River, he chose to relocate and sold his land to James and Charity Herrington in 1835. By 1836, the town was selected as the site of the new county seat.

Early names of the settlement included “Big Spring,” “Herrington’s Ford” and “La Fox.” Ultimately, the town was christened “Geneva” – a name that was adopted from a city in upstate New York. The suggestion most likely came from Dr. Charles Volney Dyer, a Chicago resident and noted abolitionist who had recently traveled to New York. James Herrington proved to be an influential person in the establishment of Geneva. Prior to his untimely death in 1839 at the age of 41, Herrington platted the new town, served as sheriff and established the first post office, tavern and general store.

The advent of the railroad in 1853 was an important development in Geneva’s history, placing the town on a main line offering both commuter and freight rail service. Along with the railroad came a surge of Swedish immigrants who helped construct the railroad and many chose to stay in the fledgling town. Geneva was officially incorporated as a village in 1858, followed by incorporation as a city in 1887.

The Geneva of today has preserved its charming historic essence, distinguished by peaceful tree-lined streets with many well-maintained homes from the mid- to late-19th century. While this unique historical character remains intact, Geneva has experienced thoughtful development with the incorporation of superior educational and health care resources, vibrant arts and cultural offerings and a dynamic business climate.


Location and Transportation

Geneva, the designated seat of Kane County, enjoys an ideal suburban location along the great Fox River, approximately 45 miles west of Chicago. Local travel is convenient via several main thoroughfares. Highways 25 and 31 offer a direct connection to the neighboring cities of St. Charles to the north and Batavia to the south. State Street (IL Route 38) winds its way through Geneva, providing an efficient route to Chicago and those cities lying to the east and west.

In addition, Geneva’s location within the Chicago area offers easy access to Interstates 88 and 90 that in turn, link commuters to Interstates 290, 294 and 355.

These major roadways, coupled with passenger service, make Geneva a prime location for commuters and businesses. Geneva is served by the Metra Union Pacific/West Line, a commuter train offering transportation to Chicago’s Ogilvie Transportation Center and to the many communities located along the route.

Commercial air travel is accessible within a one-hour’s drive of Geneva. Chicago’s O’Hare International and Midway International airports offer hundreds of daily flights to destinations across the globe. Corporate travel is provided through DuPage Airport in nearby West Chicago and through Aurora Municipal Airport just 30 minutes south of Geneva.


Tourism

The peaceful environment of Geneva offers residents and guests an unmatched escape from the fast-paced world of today. From perusing through the shops and restaurants of the historic downtown district to whiling away a day at one of the city’s beautiful park sites, visitors have endless possibilities when it comes to spending time in Geneva.

For those craving a bit more excitement, Geneva offers four highly acclaimed annual festivals. The most renowned of these events occurs each June with the Midsommar Festival – Swedish Days, supported by Northwestern Medicine, a celebration of Geneva’s Swedish heritage that will mark its 70-year anniversary in 2019. This “Granddaddy” of Illinois festivals features a host of family-friendly activities such as a carnival, Sweden Väst, musical entertainment, Kids’ Day, a Grand Parade, Swedish and American food, plus great shopping.

The Geneva Arts Fair annually welcomes more than 155 artisans in a host of mediums from around the country during the fourth weekend in July. Historic downtown Geneva serves as a picturesque backdrop for the outdoor fine arts show that was voted a Top 10 Best Art Fairs in the country by artfaircalendar.com and a recent winner of “Best Craft or Art Show” by West Suburban Living magazine. Victorian homes-turned-businesses in the downtown historic district serve as a picturesque backdrop for the show.

September’s Festival of the Vine is a three-day event consisting of food, wine and events; a flower market; a craft show; and carriage rides. The Flavor Fare features Geneva restaurants, plus musical entertainment. Festival of the Vine is consistently chosen as a top festival in readers’ polls.

The Christmas Walk in December is complete with visits from Santa Lucia (Sweden’s symbol of the season) and Santa Claus, the melodic voices of carolers, the inviting aroma of roasted chestnuts and an old-fashioned candy cane pull. Coinciding with the Christmas Walk is our House Tour, a self-guided tour of five distinctive homes festively decorated for the holidays.

The Geneva Concours d’Elegance, Good Templar events, Kane County Fair, the Fox Valley Folk Music & Storytelling Festival, Wedding Walk and the Classic Car Shows are among the other annual events that make Geneva a must-see destination. For a complete listing of Geneva festivals and events, visit genevachamber.com.

Sports enthusiasts looking for an exciting day at the ballpark revel in the offerings of the Kane County Cougars, a Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cougars take on team rivals at Northwestern Medicine Field in Geneva. Family-friendly events include firework shows, human bowling, pedal car racing, giveaways, autographs from the players and the KidZone Playground.

Enjoy fast-paced family fun at Fox Valley Ice Arena, September through May. Future college and pro stars play for the Chicago Steel in the nation’s best junior hockey league (USHL).

Delve into the area’s history with a trip to the Geneva History Museum. The 17,000-square-foot center opened its doors in 2004 and is bursting with award-winning educational programming as well as the stocked archives and reading room. Tours are also offered through the city’s historic district.

Visit Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden in the Fabyan Forest Preserve or tour our local brewery, Penrose Brewing, and learn more about the craft beers that they create.

Just to the south, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.  Self-guided tours are available and include both the outdoor areas and limited indoor facilities.


Lodging

In order to enjoy all that Geneva has to offer, you will need to stay more than just one day. Fortunately, guests have a choice of several high-quality hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts in the area.

The Comfort Inn & Suites of Geneva is just minutes from the downtown Geneva shopping and entertainment district; Chicago Premium Outlet Mall; Northwestern Medicine Field, home of the Kane County Cougars; and Fox Valley Ice Arena, home of the Chicago Steel. This 90-room hotel offers 42 suites and 48 guest rooms as well as amenities such as a complimentary deluxe breakfast, fitness center, spa and swimming pool.

The AAA Three Diamond hotel recently garnered the 2018 Hall of Fame Trip Advisor Award for five consecutive years of excellence. In addition, the hotel received the 2017 Gold Award by Choice Hotels International and is ranked in the top 10 percent of Comfort Inns nationwide. The Geneva hotel was also voted one of the best both in the Kane County Chronicle’s Best of the Fox and the Daily Herald’s Readers’ Choice for 2018.

The Herrington Inn & Spa is an AAA Four Diamond hotel composed of 61 elegant guestrooms, a tranquil spa, the award-winning Atwater’s Restaurant and beautiful meeting and event space with the outside Plaza Patio. Tucked within historic Geneva along the Fox River, the Herrington is housed within a lovingly restored limestone structure dating back to the 1800s, providing the warmth and charm of a fine European inn.

Guests looking for the ambiance of a tranquil English country estate may choose to stay at the Oscar Swan Country Inn, Geneva’s only bed and breakfast. The historic building was constructed in the 1860s as a farmhouse and has undergone extensive renovation over the years. The quaint inn, which sits upon eight acres with beautiful gardens, offers eight guest rooms for visitors, as well as services for weddings, private parties, business retreats and public events.

Neighboring St. Charles also offers a wide selection of excellent lodging options. Hotel Baker, dubbed “The Crown Jewel of the Fox,” is an historic 53-room hotel offering luxurious accommodations and state-of-the-art amenities. Pheasant Run is a 250-acre retreat with golf, dining and entertainment. The Best Western Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites and Hampton Inn & Suites, all in St. Charles, round out the lodging options available for an overnight, weekend or longer stay in the Fox Valley area.