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Epic Iowa Road Trip Prompting Epic Profits

DYERSVILLE, IA (CBS2/FOX28) After a record-setting winter, the Iowa Tourism Office is leading the way to getting people outside again. Right now, theyre almost halfway through the Epic Iowa Road Trip, showcasing destinations from Dubuque to Sioux City.

The idea in Dyersville, Iowa, where the Road Trip stopped for part of an afternoon, is If you build it, he will come. But the goal of the Epic Iowa Road Trip is to get people to the places that are already around, but that even native Iowans might not have seen before.

You might recognize Scott Siepker from the internet. He might be best known as the Iowa Nice Guy, for the character he plays in videos sharing trivia and little known facts about the state in a faked-nasty and deadpan delivery.

Hes just part of a whole team of people highlighting tourism attractions both big and small all over the state.

"I mean, I love Iowa, said Siepker, on his first trip to the Field of Dreams Movie Site, out of character. Seriously, this is a great moment in this trip and in my life too. Seriously, this is something."

The point is to show others that they can have that same reaction.

"That's really the great thing, this state has so many opportunities, indoor activities, said Siepker.

"The importance of letting them know that is that they can be a tourist in their own state, said the Executive Director of the Eastern Iowa Tourism Association, Carrie Koelker.

All it takes is a drive 50 miles away to be considered a tourist, even if you dont cross state lines.

Dyersville is about 60 miles away from Cedar Rapids, where Kristie Wetjen is the Executive Director at the NewBo City Market, which plays a big role in showing people that Iowa has a lot to offer.

"We have to remember, if we don't promote it and remember it, then how are other people going to come to appreciate it, said Wetjen.

The people can appreciate the sites. The nearby businesses appreciate the people and the money they bring.

"It's actually a seven-billion industry in Iowa, said Koelker. "Whether they're two-day vacationers or two-week long vacationers."

Thats all over the entire state. The story is the same in Linn County.

"We see 400-million dollars annually spent in our county, as a result of people coming and visiting and staying, said Executive Director and C.E.O. of the Cedar Rapids Convention and Visitors Bureau Marilee Fowler.

That means that in Dyersville and across the state, its been built, now come see it.

Fowler says there are 6,000 people in the Linn County are who have jobs based on hospitality, whether in big name hotels or small family-run businesses. To put that in perspective, she says Rockwell Collins employs about 10,000 people and they are the biggest employer in the area.
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