Sioux City hosts Iowa Downtown Conference for first time | Local news

SIOUX CITY — For the first time in its 30-year history, Sioux City will host the Iowa Downtown Conference.

More than 200 delegates from across the Hawkeye State — and a few out-of-staters as well — are expected to descend on western Iowa’s largest city for the conference, which runs Tuesday through Friday.

The annual event, organized by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, dates back to 1987.

Sioux City landed this year’s conference thanks to campaigning from the city and Downtown Partners, a local nonprofit dedicated to improving the city’s central hub.

Ragen Cote, executive director of Downtown Partners, said attendees can expect to learn about downtown planning, historic preservation, and other aspects beneficial to downtown development and revitalization.

“We were fortunate enough to be selected so we are excited,” she said. “There’s over 200 attendees that are going to be downtown eating, drinking, shopping so we’re looking forward to it.”

The conference will include two full days of classroom sessions, plus a bonus day targeted to potential developers of residential spaces in commercial districts. The Sioux City Convention Center will be the site of most sessions. The opening ceremonies will be held in the historic Orpheum Theatre.

Keynote speakers include Ed McMahon, cair of the National Main Street Center Board and senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute; Max Musicant, principal and founder of the Musicant Group; and Brad Segal, president of Progressive Urban Management Associates.

Walking tours of the Historic Fourth Street District, the Pearl Street District, the Woodbury County Courthouse and three other notable downtown landmarks will be provided.

“They’ll be out and about just experiencing downtown,” Cote said.

To ensure visitors truly…

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