‘I Saw Opportunity Here,’ Australian Man Says of New Life in Iowa

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Australia to New York to Iowa. That was Alex Hall’s journey over the past decade or so. And that final move to Des Moines soon means a new fourth restaurant in the metro area. Hall, standing in his St. Kilda Surf & Turf in the East Village Monday morning, talked up what Iowa has meant to his growing business. He already opened three restaurants in downtown Des Moines and plans a fourth in Valley Junction. Hall had been operating restaurants in New York but became attracted to Iowa’s possibilities after marrying an Urbandale native. “When I first met her, I thought, ‘Where the hell is this Iowa? What is Des Moines?'” the Australian native wondered, “Every single time I came to town I had a great feeling after being here. I saw opportunity here.” Governor Kim Reynolds heralded Hall as one of the state’s success stories as she unveiled the “This Is Iowa” video. The promotional video features actors portraying real estate agents who lay out appealing features of a new place to live to unsuspecting New Yorkers without telling them that they are actually talking about Iowa. The video, paid with existing resources from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, hopes to convince people that Iowa is affordable, modern and vibrant with numerous possibilities to live and work.

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