‘We are a cool, vibrant city’: New video highlights Des Moines’ transformation in the past two decades


DES MOINES, Iowa — The heart of Iowa has become a destination for people all across America, if you ask Catch Des Moines CEO Greg Edwards.

“Every time we bring a new convention here, people leave here saying, ‘We had a great time and we’re coming back,” Edwards said.

His organization, which is the city’s convention and visitors bureau, released a new video touting the joys of Des Moines this week.

Edwards said the video demonstrates how the city can compete with much larger cities for events and visitors.

“We’re looking at Louisville, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Tulsa…many cities around the Midwest,” Edwards said.

He has led the organization since 2000, and Des Moines has grown substantially since then. According to the U.S. Census, the population in the Des Moines metropolitan area has increased from about 480,000 in 2000 to more than 700,000 in 2020.

Additionally, many high-profile projects have been completed during his tenure. Developments such as the Wells Fargo Arena, the Science Center of Iowa, and the Des Moines Central Library were completed in the mid-2000s. Interstate 235 was reconstructed around the same time, and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park was completed later on in 2009.

“Downtown was a little slow back in those days, but everything came together and now we are what we are,” Edwards said. “We are a cool, vibrant city.”

You can watch Catch Des Moines’ latest video below:

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