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Mason City: The town the Music Man made

Courtesy Mason City CVB

Where is Mason City, Iowa?

The town of 27,000 is northern Iowa’s largest urban area, 120 miles north of Des Moines, Iowa, and 135 miles south of Minneapolis.

How do we get there?
The Mason City Airport offers direct flights on Great Lakes Airline to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Interstate 35 is about 15 minutes west of Mason City in Clear Lake.

What’s new?
Seven of 25 sculptures have been installed in downtown Mason City. Each has a nameplate with a QR, or “quick response,” code that explains its significance. Remaining sculptures will be installed in June, and all will be on display for a year. They will then be replaced by 25 new sculptures.

Where can we meet?

Mason City has meeting facilities for groups of up to 450. There are some 1,000 hotel rooms in the area.

• The 132-room Clarion Inn has 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space that includes a 5,000-square-foot divisible ballroom.

• Although it is a boutique hotel, the 27-room Historic Park Inn has nearly 8,000 square feet of meeting space. Its Skylight Room, with a restored sky-lit glass ceiling, is suitable for receptions; its two-story 2,400-square-foot ballroom handles larger events. Some $20 million was spent to restore the property, the last remaining hotel of six designed by Wright. It reopened in 2011.

• The Muse Norris Conference Center on the North Iowa Area Community College campus has six 600-square-foot spaces that can be combined in different configurations. Its auditorium seats 1,158.

• The North Iowa Events Center has 73,000 square feet of indoor space among its different buildings; an outdoors grandstand seats 4,500. There’s also lots of green space.