DES MOINES, Iowa-In less than a week 14,000 athletes will flood the city for the Junior Olympic Games.
“This is one of the major city-wide events that we host and it`s a critical event for the city, it will have a great economic impact utilizing hotels, restaurants, attractions,” says Katie Fencl with the Des Moines CVB.
Fencl says the CVB started preparing for the event two years ago, with the goal of showcasing the city.
“We love when people come to Des Moines because obviously we have that image that we`re just corn and beans so as soon as we can get people here they love their experience here in Des Moines. So whether it`s the athletes or the parents we love having them here with the encouragement that they`re going to come back in the future,” says Fencl.
The event is estimated to have a $47 Million dollar economic impact.
40,000 visitors will be in Central Iowa staying in 30,000 hotel rooms.
On top of that 2,000 coaches will also be in town representing 20 sports.
9,000 of those athletes will be spending their time at Drake’s blue oval.
“It`s going to be great, it`s another opportunity for us to fill the stands in Des Moines and spread the great word of track,” says Brady Randall with Drake University.
Randal says they’ve been fixing up the grounds in preparation for the event and are looking forward to showing off their facilities.
“I think we have a really cool arena for track, it`s unlike any other in the nation and that`s why we have the ability to host a lot of these events. So to bring people from across the nation to see what we can offer for an arena is really cool,” says Randall.
Athletes will be participating in events at five places across the metro and Randall is hoping they like what they see.
“It`s unreal the number of young athletes we`re bringing to the community, they`re at such an impressionable age hopefully we can change the perception of Des Moines and Iowa and show what we have to offer,” says Randall.
Organizers are still looking for around 600 volunteers to help with next week’s event running July 22-August 2nd.
For information on how to volunteer click here.
Des Moines has also been selected to host the 2018 and 2023 games as well.