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Council Bluffs & Pottawattamie County Receive Three State Tourism Awards

The Iowa Tourism Office honored Pottawattamie County and the Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau with three Iowa Tourism Awards on March 20 at the annual Iowa Tourism Conference held in Des Moines.

Mt Crescent Ski Area received the Outstanding Attraction Award. Pottawattamie County’s transformation of Mt Crescent was nothing less than remarkable during the winter of 2022-23. The once-languishing ski area’s revenue more than covered its expenses and delivered a 25 percent return on the county’s investment. Anecdotally, some Crescent businesses reported a 15 to 20 percent increase in business a year ago.

The Council Bluffs CVB earned the Outstanding Marketing Collaboration Award for the 2023 Omaha Metropolitan Area Tourism Awards. The recognition is shared with Visit Omaha and Sarpy County Tourism. The latter two have worked with the CBCVB since 2017 to present the OMA Tourism Awards. The three organizations annually engage the public to determine the best attraction, hotel, restaurant, and retail business in each of the three metro counties: Pottawattamie, Douglas, and Sarpy.

The CB bureau also brought home the Outstanding Niche Market Initiative Award for the 2023 Council Bluffs Winter Niche Marketing Initiative. The award celebrates Council Bluffs’ first winter marketing campaign and its noteworthy results. The initiative surpassed its goals by percentages of 33.8, 46.8, and 169 for page views, clicks, and impressions, respectively. The digital marketing effort used Mt Crescent as one of the primary reasons to visit the county.

“The outstanding attraction award is a credit to the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors and the Iowa West Foundation for having the vision to see the potential of Mt Crescent,” said Mark Shoemaker, executive director of Pottawattamie Conservation and president of the CBCVB Board of Directors. “This award, coupled with the two for the Council Bluffs CVB, illustrates the quality of the tourism efforts in Pottawattamie County.”

According to Tourism Economics, Pottawattamie County realized $329.62 million in direct visitor spending during 2022, the most recent data available. That total ranks as the fifth highest of Iowa’s 99 counties. Only Polk, Scott, Linn, and Johnson counties saw greater spending.

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