• Posted Apr 8, 2014

What towns and businesses along the trails in Central Iowa need to know to "get more out of the trail".

Bike Trail Tourism Conference set for April 10
at Hotel Pattee in Perry, IA

Bike Trail Tourism – Getting More Out of Your Trail is a conference set for Thursday, April 10 at the Hotel Pattee in Perry. How to capture more economic benefit from our trails is the focus of this conference, said Jim Miller of Waukee, board member of the Raccoon River Valley Trail (RRVT) and one of the conference organizers.

“We’re really fortunate to have the RRVT and the High Trestle trail go through our communities here in central Iowa, said Miller. This conference was developed to help towns on the trail get more out of this valuable new community asset. Our primary audience is local leaders of towns on the trail, trying to give them ideas and strategies to get more economic benefit from bike trails.”

The conference begins at 9:00 am with an opening presentation from Michael Gould of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and avid biker, with thoughts on development in each community on the trail and creating more opportunity for bikers to spend money in your town.

Four panels of local and area speakers with expertise in each area have been assembled and will make presentations on the following topics;

  1. Best practices for businesses on the trail, including food, beverage, bike shops, etc, and starting and growing businesses that can capture sales to bike trail users.

  2. Local way-finding ; improve local signage to help direct bike users off a trail into a town to local restaurants, bars, bike shops, and other local destinations. Also, how to create loops into your town from the main trail, along with signage, to get more trail users into your town.

  3. Public art on the bike trail, creating more reasons for trail users to visit your town and stop in your town; consider your local assets and how to market them as a bundle of assets.

  4. Best practices using technology – social media, web sites, mobile devices and popular apps, code readers, etc, to announce local events and market your town and the trail.


“We’re really excited to host this conference”, said Jay Hartz, owner and general manager of the Hotel Pattee. “One of our strategies to grow our business is to focus on bike trail users and do all we can to give them a great experience when they eat a meal here or stay overnight with us.”

Conference sponsors are the Center for Towncraft in Perry, a collaboration between Iowa State University Extension & Outreach and the City of Perry, and Common Thread, a consortium of towns on the Raccoon River Valley Trail and the High Trestle Trail.

Conference registration is $20 per person which includes lunch and all conference materials.

Pre-registration is required by April 7. Please make checks payable to City of Perry
(After April 7th, call us!)

Send your pre-registration to: City of Perry, Attn: Bike Conf., PO Box 545, Perry, IA 50220.

For more information contact, Alan Vandehaar, ISU Extension 515-231-6513, or Butch Niebuhr, City of Perry 515-465-2481,



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