Last night the Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau celebrated 25 years in the tourism business, so I thought I would do a little compare and contrast of tourism events and attractions. Here's Lehigh Valley 1984 vs. Lehigh Valley 2009.

* Pro baseball in Lehigh Valley was in the middle of a very long drought in 1984. The last major league affiliated team, the Allentown Red Sox, left town in 1960 (interesting fact: the Allentown Red Sox played at Max Hess Stadium, which is where the Lehigh Valley Mall is now located). Now we have the hugely successful AAA Philadelphia Phillies associated Lehigh Valley IronPigs, which arrived in 2008, and play in Allentown's beautiful Coca Cola Park. (Check out some of the past Lehigh Valley InSite blog posts on the IronPigs here.)

* Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom. 1984 was a big year for Dorney Park. They were recovering from a fire that destroyed many buildings and rides the year before but also celebrating their 100th anniversary! Obviously, 25 years later Dorney celebrated another anniversary, their 125th, and is now a top notch amusement and water park. (Check out some of the past Lehigh Valley InSite blog posts on Dorney Park here.)

* Golf. Lehigh Valley used to be a tough place to get a tee time 25 years ago with only 7 public courses: * Willow Brook Golf Course (9 holes at the time) * Twin Lakes now Iron Lakes Country Club * Green Pond Country Club * Allentown Municipal Golf Course * Bethlehem Golf Club * Locust Valley Golf Club * Wedgewood Golf Course. 25 years later, I'm happy to say we are a hacker’s paradise. Since 1987, Lehigh Valley has doubled in public golf courses. * 1986 Indian Creek Golf Course * 1992 Center Valley Club * 1993 Southmoore Golf Course * 1993 Whitetail Golf Club * 1995 Olde Homestead Golf Club * 2004 The Club at Morgan Hill * 2006 Riverview Country Club.

I think I'm going to continue this comparison next week. Not sure on who or what yet, but I will dig up some goodies though so stay tuned.

In the meantime, what changes have you noticed in Lehigh Valley over the past 25 years?