The following was submitted by our Affiliate agencies, the Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau and Cedar Falls Tourism. These organizations in collaboration as Cedar Valley Tourism, and with the Alliance & Chamber to promote and maintain high-quality amenities that benefit visitors and residents alike.
Representatives from the Grout Museum District and Cedar Falls Community Main Street were honored at the Iowa Tourism Conference, held in Davenport.
Downtown Cedar Falls was honored as the state’s Outstanding Retail Experience and the Grout Museum’s Iowa Veterans Museum was honored as Iowa’s Outstanding Attraction and for Outstanding Marketing Collaboration.
Distinct features leading to the Main Street award include friendly store owners serving up memorable experiences from 30+ unique shops and boutiques and 20+ bars, cafes and restaurants. The charm of the area, endless events and creative strategies employed the Community Main Street to position the district as a great get away destination were also noted.
The Grout Museum District’s 365 & Counting: Iowans in the Vietnam War exhibit enabled the Grout to capture the Attraction of the Year Award for the second time in five years. The Outstanding Marketing Collaboration was awarded for the partnership that was developed between the Grout and the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier for their Vietnam Veteran’s Profile features. The Grout provided content to reporters from the Voices of Iowa interview collection and the Courier featured 50 area Vietnam veterans, one each day, during the fall of 2015, within the duration of the 365 & Counting: Iowans in the Vietnam War exhibit. The features helped shine a light on the stories of the men and women who proudly served our county during one of the most controversial wars in history and also helped spread awareness about a powerful exhibit that educated the public and helped heal those who lived through it 50 years ago.
Tourism is an $8 billion industry in Iowa, employing 67,400 people statewide and generating more than $466.7 million in state taxes. In Black Hawk County alone, visitors spent $351.7 million dollars.
Keith Rahe, Travel Federation of Iowa; Carol Lilly, and Jessica Palmer, Cedar Falls Main Street; Kim Manning, Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau; Shawna Lode, Iowa Tourism Office.