Greg Edwards
President and CEO, Catch Des Moines

With the collective efforts of Des Moines leaders focused on water trails projects, a soccer stadium and other major sporting venues, all eyes will be on examples of existing infrastructure that gets it right, like the Central Iowa bike trails system, public art throughout the community, and outdoor performance venues like the Simon Estes and Lauridsen amphitheaters. The success of the fundraising campaign for the Lauridsen Skatepark is a shining example of the type of power that can be harnessed by community leaders. 

It’s been proven time and time again that when Greater Des Moines leaders come together and back a good idea, be it a skatepark with skateable art or a transformational project like Central Iowa water trails, we can achieve anything. All these cultural and recreational amenities enable us to attract more and bigger conventions and sporting events. These visitors, in turn, bring revenue into the metro and tell their friends what an incredible community we have in Greater Des Moines. As more people visit and realize what a gem Des Moines is, they start to see themselves here and think about living here. 

We live in a community that highly values cultural experiences and beautiful spaces. There are countless ways to experience arts and culture outdoors in Greater Des Moines, from the world-renowned Des Moines Arts Festival to the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, to the Art on the Trail installations. The heightened importance of tourism as it relates to exposure for our destination for talent cannot be overstated. Investing in quality of life projects is not only good for residents, but for visitors who might soon become fellow Des Moinesians.

This piece originally appeared in the Business Record. Find the full article HERE