PHOENIX - Arizona gets some pretty big bragging rights this time of year, especially because our winter weather is such an easy sell. So many people flock to Arizona to escape the cold and snow in other parts of the country.
The Arizona Office of Tourism knows many of our visitors come from the Midwest. More than 600,000 Illinois residents visit Arizona each year. The department wants to increase that number and their latest promotion is catching a lot of attention.
While the entire eastern half of the country was battling an arctic blast that brought record cold temperatures to many spots, a massive wallscape went up on the side of a four-story building in the middle of one of Chicago's busiest intersections.
The 3-D wallscape features a woman in her bikini relaxing in the sun. Just feet below the wallscape sits two 400lb flip-flops. The promotion seeks to encourage Chicagoans to imagine themselves in our much warmer and enjoyable weather.
Executive Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism Sherry Henry says this campaign in Chicago is just a portion of a year-long campaign called "Let Yourself Go". Henry says while they certainly couldn't have planned to put this enormous wallscape up just as a polar vortex brought the coldest air in recent history to the area this past week, the timing does work out in their favor and hopefully encourages even more people to visit Arizona.
More than 38 million people traveled to Arizona in 2012 and generated $19.3 billion throughout the state, she said. View the video in the player above to learn more.