heavily on business from any one type of group. Whether it’s a sporting
event or a large corporate get-together, the city can cater to it.
“It seems like the balance of corporate and leisure and sports
and group travel is still strong, in our metro area and many metros
throughout the country,” says Vicki Comegys, vice president of
convention sales, sports and services with Catch Des Moines (the
Greater Des Moines CVB).
New hotels continue to open across the Des Moines metro and
its surrounding suburbs, with construction scheduled to begin in
early 2016 on a new convention center hotel attached to the Iowa
Events Center. In Ankeny, a new Homewood Suites recently opened
next to the existing Courtyard by Marriott, and additional hotel
projects are in the works for West Des Moines and beyond.
The Des Moines Performing Arts facilities provide a number of
venue opportunities in the city center, which include the Civic Center, Stoner Theater, Temple Theater and Cowles Commons. All of
these spaces are available for rental, with the Civic Center offering
theater-style seating for 2,700.
“This summer people were using Cowles Commons all the time,”
Comegys says. “The outdoor space was used during Winefest and
It looks like 2016 is going to be a busy year for Central Iowa. Not only will national media be flocking to the area for coverage of the 2016 Iowa caucuses, which kick off the big election year, Des Moines will also play host to the
first- and second-round games of the NCAA “March
Madness” tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.
Next year will also likely continue to see a rise in the number of
meetings and events held in Central Iowa, where Des Moines and
Ames have both reportedly booked solid numbers in 2015. And
as these big-ticket events are making their way to the cities, each
continues to expand its group offerings.
Here’s a closer look at what Des Moines and Ames can offer
groups in the area for a meeting or event.
Des Moines: Cultural Evolution
One of Des Moines’ major meetings strengths is that it doesn’t rely too
BY ERIC ANDERSEN
Central Iowa Standouts
Des Moines and Ames steal the meetings spotlight
Jack Trice Stadium, Ames
RoCA (Restaurant on Court
Ave.), Des Moines
Main Street Cultural
Iowa Women of Achievement
Bridge, Des Moines