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Fort Madison Looking at Tourism Regionally

The Fort Madison City Council created a special committee to hand out the city’s hotel/motel tax revenue to specific events or organizations.

The promotion of tourism, though, does not fall on the committee.  It is handled by Fort Madison Partners.

That organization is an umbrella group that includes the Chamber of Commerce, Main Street, the Southeast Iowa Regional Riverboat Commission, and Fort Madison Economic Development Corporation.

Executive Director Tim Gobble says his organization needs additional help with tourism promotion, which was previously handled by the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Fort Madison Partners’ request for $70,000 to hire a tourism director has yet to be approved by the Tourism Commission.

Instead, the commission wants Partners to reach out to neighboring communities, such as Nauvoo and Mount Pleasant, and discuss a regional approach to tourism. 

The idea is that a regional tourism director could require a reduced financial commitment from each community.

Gobble says those talks are in the early stages.  He says the results will be taken back to Fort Madison’s Tourism Commission so a decision can be made.

Gobble says one of the commission’s concerns is that funding the new position would take money away from the promotion of current or potential events.