They came from all over!! Who? Nearly 100 enthusiastic professionals from Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, North Dakota, Texas, California, Colorado, Florida, Tennessee, and Iowa, spent three days in Council Bluffs in early April. The reason was the Heartland Byways Conference for training and networking opportunities.
What is a byway anyway? A National Scenic Byway is a road recognized by the United States Department of Transportation for one or more of six "intrinsic qualities":
The state of Iowa is unique in many ways. For example, Iowa is the only state bordered by two rivers-- east and west. Iowa is also the only state bordered by two byways- The Great River Road Byway to the east, and the National Loess Hills Scenic Byway to the west. In fact, Iowa is home to eleven byways, making these historic routes a real treasure for Iowans and other visitors to experience and also for professionals to study.
While the event's (nearly) three days were fully packed with top-notch presentations, not every moment was serious business. Two motor coaches also toured three distinct byway destinations, followed by a dinner of locally sourced foods which were expertly prepared and enjoyed. The Browns, a nationally known musical group, entertained.
The Heartland Byways Conference explored methods of collaboration, marketing, and ways of creating authentic experiences and sustainable tourism/economic impact for the state.
The overall goal of the conference was to study how to further enable people to enjoy Iowa’s terrific rural communities. From the reaction of the conference attendees overall, their visit to Council Bluffs was a tremendous, memorable success. should come see us, too!
This summer, explore the incredible scenic byways Iowa has to offer, and visit Council Bluffs for yourself!