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Meetings at Iowa State

College-town charm and easy access to attractions keep visitors entertained in Ames.

In the heart of the Midwest, Ames stands out with its special bond between the community and Iowa State University. The town’s population of nearly 60,000 people includes university students, making for a fun mix of locals and learners.

“One of the things we love most about Ames is that the size really leads to great opportunities,” said Julie Weeks, director of the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau. “You can get anywhere in around 10 minutes, and there’s always something new and interesting.”

Easy access to small-town hospitality and attractions means fun is always on hand in Ames. Reiman Gardens is a botanical center with a butterfly garden and over 18 garden settings for exhibits and classes. Stephens Auditorium features shows fresh off Broadway, symphonies and comedies like “Spamalot.” The downtown area, or Main Street Cultural District, has more than 50 locally owned shops. Ames also has 35 parks and 30 miles of trails and is home to the Iowa State Cyclones sports teams.

Off-site events vary widely and include two wineries — Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards, and Snus Hill Winery — with outdoor spaces, tastings and other experiential programs. At the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad and Museum, visitors can book a trip to ride the dinner train through the Des Moines River Valley. The Iowa State University Museums, which comprise several museums and a sculpture garden, organizes catered events, and the university campus has many great places to host outdoor activities.


Spotlight on Ames

Primary meeting facilities:

Iowa State Center, a four-building complex that includes Fischer Theater and Hilton Coliseum

Other meeting properties:

Memorial Union at Iowa State University, Gateway Hotel and Conference Center, Quality Inn and Suites Starlight Village, Holiday Inn Ames Conference Center

Largest meeting space:

Hilton Coliseum at 20,000 square feet

Total hotel rooms:


CVB website: