Tourism recaps 2019 at annual meeting

Outgoing Jones County Tourism Association member, Kim Brooks of Monticello, was honored with a certificate for her eight years of service to the organization. Tourism held its annual meeting on Nov. 19. Brooks has been president for the last several years. (Photo courtesy of the Anamosa Journal-Eureka)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

Jones County Tourism held its annual meeting on Nov. 19, with a full house of county officials, board members, association members, and various city officials from throughout the county. 

One big item of note was a change in location. Effective Nov. 26, Jones County Tourism Visitors Center will be moving up the block to 213 E. Main St. in Anamosa. Be sure to stop into the new center, check it out, and see what Tourism has to offer. 

Tourism Director Bob Hatcher presented out-going board member Kim Brooks of Monticello with a certificate of appreciation. Brooks has been on the Tourism board for eight years, serving as president the last several years. 

The officers were also elected: 

• President Becky Dirks- Haugsted 

• Vice President Ned Rohwedder 

• Secretary Dusty Embree 

• Treasurer Kathy Luensman 

Board members Embree, Dirks-Haugsted, and Jim Christianson were all re-elected. 

Looking over the previous year, tourists spent $23.731 million in Jones County. That’s a 6 percent increase of $1.12 million over the previous year. 

Tourism amounts to 110 jobs in Jones County, with an annual payroll of over $2.36 million. 

Local sales tax of $161,000 was paid to the county’s general fund thanks to tourists. Hatcher said that’s money local citizens don’t have to pay. 

In FY 2019, Jones County received $92,268 in Hotel/ Motel Tax. Over 15,375 travel parties stayed overnight in the county. Those overnight stays also included eating and shopping in Jones County. The average travel party spends $361 a day. 

The Visitors Center provides information about the area, including what to do, attractions to see, where to dine, and places to stay to many travel parties. Last year, 76,500 travel parties came to Jones County Tourism, excluding those who were here during the week of the Great Jones County Fair. They spent $14,535,000 ($190 a day) on entertainment, food, and shopping. 

“They came for the sights and stayed for the stories,” said Hatcher. 

Tourism’s print advertisements reached approximately 2.5 million readers last year in publications throughout the upper Midwest. Hatcher filled 750 requests for information, either by printed materials or e-mail/webpage referrals. 

One of Tourism’s big projects last year, and continuing into this year, is promoting staycations in Jones County. This is encouraging locals to spend some time exploring all that Jones County has to offer. Itineraries for specific staycations can be obtained by contacting Jones County Tourism at 319-462-4101 or by e-mail at director@ 

Of note in Jones County: 

• Five golf courses 

• Nine museums 

• 51 parks 

• Over 900 camping spots 

• Several recreational trails 

• Two rivers, three canoe rental businesses 

• 27 holiday/local events throughout the year, May through December 

Visit www. to find out more about Jones County Tourism.


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