As we take a moment to look back and reflect on the companies, organizations, and individuals that have made such a lasting impact on this community, I can’t help but think of the efforts that are being pursued now that I hope will stand the test of time as well.
Recently, our Parks and Recreation team has brought a number of proposals to the City Council for their feedback. These projects alter our landscape, establish our identity, and I believe, will be the key to our growth in the future.
The return on these investments is already being felt. Cone Park, for example, is gearing up for its 5th season, serving more than 25,000 people annually and creating a tremendous economic impact locally. The City staff is currently looking at how we can transform this facility into a year-round tubing hill that will make it even more of a top attraction in Iowa! The new Siouxland Expo Center is another example of a facility that has produced an instant positive impact on the community. During the Siouxland Showdown Volleyball Tournament, more than 100 teams gathered from around the country right here in Sioux City. Organized by the staff at the Tyson Events Center, the Expo Center was transformed into a volleyball complex overnight! You couldn’t find a hotel room in town, and businesses from Burger King to our local restaurants on 4th Street saw a surge in the number of visitors.
However, there is more to come. Due to the aggressive pursuit of grants and the generosity of our community, local organizations have made not only these recent developments possible, but future growth as well. The Chesterman Company is donating $1 million to a complete transformation of the landscape near Cone Park to include more than eight miles of mountain biking trails. This regional attraction is being designed by an international agency and will attract cyclists from all over the United States to Sioux City. With more people exploring Sioux City, the city and local partners have invested in the transformation of our Riverfront, connected a number of trails throughout our region, and see the need to make our community not only a great place to raise a family, but a recreation destination worth exploring. So many of these projects have been made possible by gracious donations from MRHD, Empirical Foods, State Steel, the Gilchrist Foundation, Tyson Foods, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, and many more. Because of the overwhelming support and generosity of Siouxland, people passing through on the interstate and those attending a conference or concert won’t be able to deny the revitalization we are experiencing!
As I take time to look back on the past, I can’t help but get excited about the future. Investment in these kinds of quality-of-life projects will not only positively affect the residents of Siouxland but have huge economic benefits for our businesses. We can’t thank our community partners enough for making this level of development possible, and I can’t wait for you to continue to experience the new things coming to Sioux City.
By Alex Watters