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Iowa Tourism Organizations, Individuals Receive Awards at 2015 Conference

For more information contact:
Jessica O’Riley – Iowa Tourism Office, Iowa Economic Development Authority
515.348.6256 or
Iowa Tourism Organizations, Individuals Receive Awards at 2015 Conference
October 23, 2015 (Ottumwa, Iowa) — The Iowa Tourism Office and the Travel Federation of Iowa presented 27 awards recognizing excellence in the tourism industry last night in Fairfield during the 2015 Iowa Tourism Conference.
“Iowa is fortunate to have passionate people working hard every day to advance the tourism industry and grow the state’s economy,” said Shawna Lode, manager of the Iowa Tourism Office. “The Iowa Tourism Awards are a way to showcase those efforts and celebrate the successes of the past year.”
“The Iowa Tourism Awards are the highest honor given in our state’s tourism industry,” said Carla Eysink, president of the Travel Federation of Iowa. “The winners are truly the best of the best.”
Awards to both metro and rural areas were made in 13 award categories. In addition, conference attendees voted for the People’s Choice Award; nominees were the second-highest scoring nominations in 12 of the categories. 
The complete list of 2015 Iowa Tourism Award recipients:
Outstanding Attraction
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Sioux City (Metro)
National Motorcycle Museum, Anamosa (Rural)
Outstanding Community
Waterloo (Metro)
Amana Colonies (Rural)
Outstanding Dining Business
Rastrelli’s Restaurant, Clinton (Metro)
Bluff Lake Catfish Farm, Maquoketa (Rural)
Outstanding Event
America’s River Festival, Dubuque (Metro)
Kinderfest, Manning (Rural)
Outstanding Individual Leader
Cindy Thompson, Pottawattamie County Conservation Board, Council Buffs (Metro)
Jay Hartz, Hotel Pattee, Perry (Rural)
Outstanding Lodging
Hotel Julien Dubuque, Dubuque (Metro)
Red Cedar Lodge, Charles City (Rural)
Outstanding Marketing Collaboration
Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (Metro)
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Clear Lake (Rural)
Outstanding New Event
Newton Fest, Newton (Metro)
Wurst Festival, Amana Colonies (Rural)
Outstanding Niche Marketing Initiative
Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (Metro)
Hotel Pattee, Perry (Rural)
Outstanding Promotion Material
Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau (Metro)
Winneshiek County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Decorah (Rural)
Outstanding Retail Experience
Great American Popcorn, Cedar Rapids (Metro)
RVP~1875 Historical Furniture Shop, Jefferson (Rural)
Outstanding Social Media Execution
Northwest Iowa Development, Sheldon (Metro)
American Gothic House Center, Eldon (Rural)
Outstanding Website
Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau (Metro)
Fairfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (Rural)
People’s Choice Award:
Dig In! Iowa's Ag Innovation Tour, Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau, Dubuque Convention and Visitors Bureau, Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau and Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau

The annual Iowa Tourism Conference brings together nearly 300 industry representatives from across the state to network, attend educational sessions and discuss emerging industry trends.
Tourism in Iowa generates more than $8 billion in expenditures, employs 66,500 people statewide and generates $374 million in state taxes. The Iowa Tourism Office is part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. For more information about Iowa tourism, visit, call 800.345.IOWA or stop at any Iowa Welcome Center. Travelers can find additional Iowa travel inspiration on the Iowa Tourism Office blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest boards, Instagram or YouTube channel.

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