For the last couple of days, Rockford and this man have been in the same sentences. Sightings reported too, most recently eating dinner at Taco Betty's.

I can confirm that taco outing, and I can also confirm that Oscar-winning film director, Francis Ford Coppola has his sights set on opening a hotel in Rockford. Makes perfect sense to me. He owns four hotels in Central America and one each in New Orleans, Buenos Aires and Bernalda, Italy, Rockford, Illinois seem a likely next choice (sarcasm intended). Now, don't start saying I think Rockford is a horrible choice for opening a hotel, I just don't understand why. Rockford seems more like a soccer and softball tourney family hotel town more than a town with a boutique hotel owned by the director of The Godfather. But the truth is, the next hotel in the Family Coppola Hideaways collection might very well be in Rockford, according to a recent interview with TravelWeekly.com.

The World Travel & Tourism Council held a summit recently in Buenos Aires, and writer Arnie Weissmann had a chance to catch up with Mr. Coppola backstage, after the director/hotelier's keynote address, and this is what he had to say about his decision to open a hotel in Rockford. Why Rockford?, Weissmann asked:

There's a film connection. "Rockford was home of the Rockford Peaches. [A founding team of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the Peaches were the inspiration for the film "A League of Their Own."] Rockford is a cradle of baseball."

Coppola movies, his wine and hotels... sounds like a perfect weekend. Thank you Mr. Coppola, for considering our wonderful city as a place to invest your time and money. We are grateful.

Could the Coppola Hotel possibly be the plan for the old Clock Tower Resort? Could it also be the home for legendary Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen's breathtaking collection of guitars and other memorabilia? Hopefully we will all soon find out.