Sporting events keep tourism on target - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sporting events keep tourism on target

Dubuque (KWWL) -- With cold winter weather, eastern Iowa might not seem like a hot spot for winter travel, but some cities are working to bring more tourists to town, even in the off-season.

With cold weather and pretty regular snow and ice fall, when you think of winter tourism in Dubuque, skiing probably comes to mind -- but what else? That's what the Convention and Visitors bureau works on every year.

88 of the best archers in the country shot for a spot on the USA Archery World Team, not in Los Angeles, New York or Chicago, but at the University of Dubuque over the weekend.

"Usually at this time of year, in January, February, March, it's a great time because it's kind of a lull, so to speak in the tourism season, so any business we can bring in, it's a great time for it," Keith Rahe said.

An added appeal for sports: they are guaranteed to bring a national crowd.

"They have to come to Dubuque to participate in this, so they're going to come here. A lot of these competitors are staying anywhere from three to four nights in a hotel. They're going to be eating at restaurants, going to the attractions and such," Rahe said.

Rahe estimates the archery trials brought 350 to 450 thousand dollars to the local economy.

Brady Ellison, an archer who competed in the Beijing Olympics, said this trip was mostly business, but he did spend some money.

"We've gone out to a couple of restaurants, but we haven't really had a lot of time yet. We just got in the other day, but we'll hopefully get to do something else," Ellison said.

USA Archery officials have already expressed interest in coming back to Dubuque.

Other upcoming sporting events include the hockey Hurster Cup, Iowa Winter Games, Special Olympics, and the state men's bowling tournament, expected to bring 600 competitors each weekend for three months straight.

Other eastern Iowa cities plan special winter events to boost tourism.

The Cedar Rapids Convention and Visitors Bureau tells us the Fire and Ice Festival, NCAA division three wrestling championships, and hockey are big winter draws.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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