Summer tourism numbers in Des Moines a good sign for the city

Local News

DES MOINES — With so much happening in central Iowa over the summer, Local 5 is taking a look at some of the attendance and tourist totals compiled by city leaders.

While the Iowa State Fair announced that 2019 set an attendance record with over 1.1 million people, the Blank Park Zoo also says they saw an increase in attendance.

“We had a really good summer,” said Blank Park Zoo CEO Mark Vukovich. “Babies in our world are always better than advertising.”

Summer attraction numbers (from Memorial Day to Labor Day)

Blank Park ZooScience Center of Iowa
2014 225,461 N/A
2015 261,427 N/A
2016 250,468 55,832
2017 256,473 56,703 
2018 257,242 63,766 
2019 269,473 59,404 

“20 years ago, if you looked at downtown, it was not as vibrant as it is today,” said Catch Des Moines CEO Greg Edwards.

Edwards also noted that hotels in the downtown Des Moines area are running in the mid-to-high 70 percent range for occupancy.

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