The Iowa Tourism Office and the Travel Federation of Iowa presented 27 awards recognizing excellence in the tourism industry at a ceremony last night in Sioux City during the 2017 Iowa Tourism Conference.
“The Iowa Tourism Awards recognize exceptional work by passionate tourism individuals and organizations,” said Shawna Lode, manager of the Iowa Tourism Office. “We appreciate our many partners who provide memorable traveler experiences and grow the state’s economy through their efforts.”
“These awards represent the best of the best in the state,” said Andy Milam, president of the Travel Federation of Iowa. “The award ceremony gives us a chance to celebrate their efforts.”
Awards to both metro and rural areas were made in 13 award categories. Outstanding Attraction in a metro area was given to The Alley KADTS from Oskaloosa. The Alley was planned by five ladies, Karen Hafner, Ann Brouwer, Deb Beach, Theresa Grahek and Sherry Vavra who call themselves the Alley KADTS, and partnered with Oskaloosa Main Street to revamp an alley riddled with trash into an attractive gathering place. It began with a conversation in September, 2015 and hosted its grand opening in July, 2016. It is a truly eclectic space that continues to wow with its many facets. The Alley KADTS had a vision to create a culture in the downtown area where the community would come to gather and visitors would experience a unique open-air environment, even adding an impressive metal-
cut archway to further attract visitors “just passing through”.
Deann DeGroot from the Oskaloosa Area Chamber and Development Group accepted the award on behalf of the Alley KADTS and stated, “It was an honor to accept The Alley award from Iowa Tourism. I know the amount of time the Alley KATDS have spent and continue to spend on this project and the community truly appreciates this space. Birthday parties, anniversary gatherings, weddings, Wine down Wednesday’s, Thankful Thursday’s and more have now become a part of The Alley. Thank you, KADTS, for all your work!”
The annual Iowa Tourism Conference brings together nearly 250 industry representatives from across the state to network, attend educational sessions and discuss emerging industry trends.
Tourism in Iowa generates more than $8.06 billion in expenditures and $466 million in state taxes, plus employs 67,400 people statewide. The Iowa Tourism Office is part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. For more information, visit traveliowa.com, call 800.345.IOWA, or stop at any Iowa Welcome Center. Travelers can find additional travel inspiration on the Iowa Tourism Office blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest boards, Instagram account, or You Tube channel.