DES MOINES, Iowa -- Athletes from around the world are preparing in Des Moines for the AAU Junior Olympic Games. This year’s Olympic Games include a few new sports like sport stacking, but city officials are most excited about is what these athletes are doing during their off time, which is why they are giving the nearly 14,000 athletes a fun pass. Each fun pass provides kids with free or discounted admission to some of Iowa’s hottest attractions.
Vicki Comegys with the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau says this means more money for central Iowa. With an estimated 40,000 visiting for the Junior Olympic Games this event is expected to bring in $47 million into the economy.
City officials say this is an opportunity for the city to attract new talent to the city. Their reasoning, the more fun visitors have, the more likely they are to come back and possibly live here. “I’ve seen that. I’ve literally seen people come in and fall in love with this community and come back and decide to live here. So you know absolutely that is a potential,” Comegys said.
The first event will start Wednesday at Iowa Events Center. For a schedule of all the events click here.