Tourism Insider Meeting - June

June 20-21, 2023
10:30 AM
Saints Center, Stuart, Iowa

Join us for our second Tourism Insider Meeting, hosted by the Iowa Tourism Office, to be held in Stuart, Iowa at the Saints Center on June 20-21.

The Iowa Tourism Office launched the Tourism Insider series to provide opportunities for industry partners from across the state to gather, collaborate, share ideas and network. Pack your bags and take an educational trip to meet, learn from and engage with industry partners in new locations.

  • No cost to attend.
  • Lunch will be provided.
  • Everyone is invited to each event, regardless of your location.
  • Overnights encouraged, but not required.

Please complete the registration form below, and we look forward to seeing you in Stuart on June 20-21!

(note: some details are still being confirmed)

Tuesday, June 20:

  • 10:00 a.m. - Registration & Networking
  • 10:25 a.m. - Introductions and Community Host Welcome
  • 10.30 a.m. - Hear from Lucy Cade, IEDA's social media manager, on the latest in social media trends, including vertical video and using Chat GPT.
  • 11:00 a.m. - Social Media Open Forum
  • 11:45 a.m. - Lunch from Los Altos Mexican Restaurant and The Stuart Scoop will be onsite with an ice cream cart for a sweet treat! (provided)
  • 12:15 p.m. - Tour of the Saints Center with Dick Doherty and Tom Smull, a member of Project Restore and former center manager.
    • The Saints Center is the former Historic All Saints Catholic Church and was once voted the Most Beautiful Church in Iowa by the readers of the Des Moines Register. The church fell victim to arson in 1995. Project Restore Foundation rebuilt the burned shell into a stunning community center and event venue.
  • 12:45 p.m. - General Open Forum (submit your questions below)
  • 1:15 p.m. - White Pole Road Byway Discussion with Brenda Dudley and Liz Gilman from White Pole Road Byway Board, and Lora Friest from Iowa Tourism Office.
    • Learn how Iowa's byways create tourism assets and how to replicate their success.
  • 2-4 p.m. - two available tours, both repeated:
    • 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.: Come along on a Historical Tour of the Bonnie & Clyde Bank Robbery Site and experience a re-enactment of the robbery! Click here to watch a recent news story about plans for the historic building. Address: 100 NW 2nd St
    • 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. (Story of Doe a Deer start-up and tour of warehouse. Address: 105 NW 2nd St
  • 4-4.30pm: Meeting wrap-up at Rock Island Railroad Depot with a tour of the depot 
    • Slated for destruction in 1977, a group of Stuart residents formed the Stuart Depot Restoration committee and the depot was fully renovated. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and now serves as a venue and displays historical artifacts.
    • A business card drawing for prizes will be held for all in attendance.

Optional evening activities:

Hotel accommodation:

A room block is available at the Stuart Motor Lodge, a locally owned and recently renovated motel. The recent renovation was a huge overhaul with all newly updated accommodations. The AmericInn and Motel 6 are also options in Stuart.

Wednesday, June 21:

  • 8 a.m. – Meet at Cup on 2nd for a coffee and some morning networking before we head to our volunteer fun! They open at 6.30am and have breakfast options.
  • 9 a.m. - Volunteer Opportunity
    • Lawbaugh City Park will host Stuart's Annual Celebration called 'Good Egg Days' on June 16-18 and they'd love our help cleaning up!
  • 10 a.m. - Meeting ends

Any questions please contact Stephanie Neppl at (515) 348-6257 |

What your peers are saying:

"I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and network with other professionals in the tourism industry. I also enjoyed the forum to learn from others about what they are doing, how they are approaching different challenges, and what they find useful."

"The afternoon of exploring the town was nice and gave me an opportunity to talk to a lot of the attendees that I hadn't spoken to during the meeting time."

"I liked that we were able to visit some small businesses in the area. This allows for us to put money in the community we are visiting and learn and share their story."