"Iowa Welcome Center" designation for center in Nashua - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

"Iowa Welcome Center" designation for center in Nashua

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NASHUA (KWWL) -

The Gateway to Northeast Iowa in Nashua is now the new Iowa Welcome Center. It's in the Iowa tourism book and on maps.

The center, located just off highway 218, opened in April 2009. It was built by the City of Nashua through donations, grants and some city funding.

"We wanted to have a place for the traveling public to be able to stop, take a break and get to know new things around this part of Iowa," said city clerk Becky Neal.

A store inside the welcome center features items from nearly 90 vendors, most from within 100 miles of Nashua.

"We feature all Iowa products," said Neal.

Everything from shirts to coasters to paintings are sold there.

"We've got a lot of stuff here. If you look around you'd be surprised, and we did tremendous business in December for Christmas," said Neal.

City Clerk Becky Neal said the welcome center has already seen a lot of visitors, more than 1100 just during the month of December.

But Neal hopes the "Iowa Welcome Center" designation with the state will draw even more visitors.

"I believe we've had every state in the union and a bunch of foreign countries have stopped in," she said.

And if people need to stop in during severe weather, center also has a tornado shelter in the basement.

The main lobby is open 24 hours. The store in the center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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