West Des Moines’ Historic Valley Junction to Host the Iowa Downtown Summit

West Des Moines’ Historic Valley Junction to Host the Iowa Downtown Summit

The 29th annual Iowa Downtown Summit will be held August 27 and 28 in West Des Moines. The Summit is the premier statewide annual conference for professionals and volunteers involved in downtown revitalization in Iowa.

The conference provides opportunities for attendees to make new connections, hear about the latest trends, acquire practical information and ideas, and learn strategies that are relevant to rural, mid-sized and urban communities and urban districts. Attending will help enhance local efforts to address downtown development issues, historic commercial district vibrancy and competitiveness.

The informative and inspiring event will include two full days of timely and relevant classroom sessions presented by industry experts who provide practical ideas and solutions. Featured keynote speakers include success coach and best-selling author Mitch Matthews; real estate developer and founder of Urban3, Joe Minicozzi, AICP; developer, author and consultant Ron Drake; and entrepreneur Mike Draper, founder and owner of RAYGUN. Dignitaries include Governor Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Director Debi Durham.

The 2015 Summit will use Valley Junction, West Des Moines’ historic downtown, as a living laboratory to demonstrate the successful use of the Main Street Approach® in this Great American Main Street Award-winning community. Six mobile tours and field sessions will be offered, taking attendees to Valley Junction stops as well as to downtown Des Moines to residential spaces and arts and culture offerings. In addition, new Main Street communities will be announced, and there will be a film screening of the just released documentary “Urban Century: America’s Return to Main Street” and “Three Minute Success Stories” shared.

A new feature is “Ask the Downtown Doctors!” Attendees with questions on how to revitalize downtown will have the opportunity to schedule a private appointment for an informal consultation with IEDA and Iowa Downtown Resource Center staff.

The Summit also offers networking opportunities with colleagues and vendors showcasing resources, and the Main Street Open 4 Business Competition winner will be announced.
This Summit will be relevant and motivational for downtown enthusiasts, volunteers/staff from chambers of commerce and Main Street Iowa communities, city officials, historic preservation advocates/practitioners, economic developers, business and building owners, and planners. Continuing education credits will be offered for architects and real estate agents.

The Iowa Downtown Summit is hosted by the IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center, in partnership with the Historic Valley Junction Foundation and the city of West Des Moines.

Funding is provided by an IEDA Community Development Block Grant, Iowa Association of Realtors, Curt and Sharon Heidt, Renew Rural Iowa/Iowa Farm Bureau, JSA Development and the Federal Home Loan Bank.

Register by August 13 to receive an early bird discount at iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/DowntownSummit.

To learn more, contact Terry Buschkamp at [email protected] or call 515.725.3075.

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