downtown Des Moines skyline,” Fencl says.
Among the area’s group-friendly sports
venues that host off-site events are Principal Park, home of the Iowa Cubs, which
offers space for groups of all sizes and
specialized scoreboard messages; and Ricochet, a BYOB game lounge where groups
can play friendly rounds of ping pong,
foosball, darts and more.
Group-friendly golf courses in Central
Iowa include the Ames-based Coldwater
Golf Links, which accommodates everything from small corporate tournaments
to large fundraising events, and the
Marshalltown-based Harvester Golf Club,
which also facilitates group tournaments of
In Cedar Rapids, groups are welcome to
hit the links at Elmcrest Country Club,
the course where pro Zach Johnson, 2015
British Open and 2007 Masters champion,
Groups meeting here also give great
scores for off-site events at Bloomsbury
Farm, where a giant corn maze, ziplines,
hayrack rides and pumpkin patches are
among the fun experiences.
“Enjoy a hog roast and other delicious
Iowa farm dishes, and music and dancing
in one of the barns,” says Jennifer Pickar,
director of communications and marketing
for the Cedar Rapids Area CVB. “Top the
Latest + Greatest
➜ A new 330-room Hilton hotel ( www.hilton.com), which will connect to the Iowa Events Center, is scheduled to open by spring
➜ An additional 300 hotel rooms will be added to downtown Des
Moines by the end of 2016. New hotels include Holiday Inn
Express & Suites Des Moines Downtown ( www.ihg.com), an AC
Hotel ( www.achotels.marriott.com) and Staybridge Suites–Des
Moines ( www.ihg.com).
➜ In March, Hampton Inn and Suites North ( www.hilton.com)
reopened after a renovation project, including a remodeled lobby
and guest rooms.
➜ Holiday Inn Express Cedar Rapids ( www.collinsroadhotel.com) in
May unveiled a renovation, including a complete rebuild of all of
its 83 guest rooms.
➜ At press time, Residence Inn Cedar Rapids South ( www.marriott.
com) was on track to open last month with 95 suites and 460
square feet of meeting space.
➜ The 102-room Homewood Suites by Hilton (www.davenport.
homewoodsuites.com) opened in Davenport in March.
➜ The 104-room Holiday Inn & Suites ( www.ihg.com) opened in
Davenport last year. The property has nearly 5,300 square feet of
meeting and prefunction space.
➜ The 115-room Hilton Garden Inn Bettendorf/Quad Cities (www.
bettendorfquadcities.hgi.com) opened in April 2015 with 2,400
square feet of meeting space.
➜ At press time, Rhythm City Casino Resort (www.rhythmcity
casino.com) was on track to move this month from downtown
Davenport to a new facility at the corner of interstates 80 and 74.
➜ Earlier this year, Radisson Hotel & Conference Center
Coralville-Iowa City ( www.radisson.com) unveiled extensive renovations, including updates to its guest rooms, meeting spaces
➜ Iowa City-based Hilton Garden Inn ( www.hilton.com), which
will have meeting space and a rooftop restaurant and bar
with an outdoor patio, is scheduled for completion in summer
➜ There are plans for two hotels at the Iowa River Landing (www.
iowariverlanding.com), a mixed-use development in Coralville.
A Drury Hotel is scheduled for completion in summer 2018
and a Staybridge Suites property is estimated to open the
➜ Waterloo’s newest hotel property, the 81-room Fairfield Inn &
Suites Waterloo Cedar Falls ( www.marriott.com), opened last year
with 1,800 square feet of meeting space.
➜ Sioux City Convention Center ( www.siouxcityconventioncenter.
com) completed a renovation in January, including 50,000
square feet of newly updated exhibit space.
➜ Phase II of Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park ( www.council-bluffs-ia.gov), featuring the River’s Edge Pavilion, broke ground
earlier this year. The pavilion will provide a small meeting/event
space for up to 60 people, complete with a catering kitchen
and presentation capabilities. The facility’s rooftop deck will
accommodate 100 people and an adjacent tilted lawn will seat