Dubuque County Businesses Win Awards at Iowa Tourism Conference
Four Dubuque County businesses were awarded honors at the 2022 Iowa Tourism
Conference on Wednesday, April 20 in downtown Des Moines. Travel Dubuque, National Mississippi River
Museum & Aquarium, the City of Balltown, and Beyond the Game received awards from Travel Iowa and
the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
“As a region we’ve had a great year after what was a tough time for our industry due to the pandemic. To
come back swinging with recognition at the state level is a great boost for our county,” shared Keith Rahe,
President & CEO for Travel Dubuque. “The best thing about this is that all of these awards represent
partnerships across businesses, city governments, and more. Things are just better when you work
Travel Dubuque received the award for Outstanding Promotional Material in the Metro category for the
2022 Travel Guide. The award-winning edition was designed, published, and managed in-house. This
annual publication is a crucial component for the marketing efforts of the Dubuque area and one of the
main resources for travelers and citizens for all the things to experience #WhereIowaStarted. Accepting the
award is Taylor Kellogg, Vice President of Marketing for Travel Dubuque.
Outstanding Attraction of the Year for the Metro category was awarded to the National Mississippi River
Museum & Aquarium. This Smithsonian affiliated museum created new offerings to help continue to drive
business during the pandemic. Additions like behind-the-scenes tours and new programming added to an
already vibrant attraction of Dubuque. In attendance to accept the award was Kurt Strand, Wendy
Scardino, Nate Breitsprecker, and Tommy Lange.
The City of Balltown received the award for Outstanding Community in the Rural category. Balltown is
known for its famous hospitality and most notably for Iowa’s Oldest Bar and Restaurant, Breitbach’s Country
Dining. Located in northern Dubuque County, Balltown sits along the Great River Road and offers
breathtaking views of the mighty Mississippi River. In attendance to accept the award was Mike and Cindy
Breitbach, Herb Sigwarth, and Mayor Sherri Sigwarth.
Outstanding Event of the Year in the Rural category was awarded to Beyond the Game. This new event was
created as an Iowa baseball experience surrounding the inaugural MLB at Field of Dreams presented by
GEICO in Dyersville, Iowa. Guests immersed themselves in events to celebrate the highly anticipated game
and discover Midwestern hospitality right here in Iowa’s slice of heaven. In attendance to accept the award
was Keith Rahe, Tricia Maiers, Roman Weinberg, and Karla Thompson.
Tourism continues to be a vital driver of economic growth for Dubuque County providing $281.02 million
in direct spending and employing 2,400 individuals in 2020. (Data provided by Tourism Economics and
the Iowa Economic Development Authority.)