Events Boost Des Moines’ Economy During a Normally Slow Month

DES MOINES, Iowa — Two major events downtown this week exceeded the expectations of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

The Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau said The Kennedy Center Theater Festival and the Iowa Pork Congress brought in $4 million to the downtown economy.

“These are just outside dollars coming into our community, spending money on our hotels, shopping in our areas, spending money on our restaurants and just here locally,” Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Katie Fencl said.

Both events brought in more than 8,500 visitors with varying demographics.

“The Pork Congress is the largest swine event trade show in North America, so it’s bringing in quite a few folks, so again a great annual event, but hosting Kennedy Center Theater gives us another opportunity and bring in some other outside visitors,” Fencl said.

The Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau said this boost in the economy will really help out local establishments during what they normally see as a slow month.

“Des Moines is a host for a caucus every few years so January is always an interesting time to try to fill that time when it’s not a caucus year. So Kennedy is a great opportunity to help us bring in additional events to help fill the hotels and increase that economic impact in the community,” Fencl said.