DAVENPORT, Iowa — After back to back years of hard hits, Armored Gardens in Downtown Davenport is finally starting to bounce back. Owner Dan Bush says he’s feeling good about where the Quad Cities is headed for the summer months saying, “Going back to back from a flood to a pandemic is definitely a challenge. In the past months we’ve seen a good bounce back in our sales.”
Visit Quad Cities CEO Dave Herrell likens this past year to one of the worst in history saying, “Certainly our Great Depression for the hospitality and tourism industry space.”
Before the pandemic hit Herrell says the Quad Cities tourism industry was at an all-time high. “If you look at 2019, pre-pandemic there was about 954 million dollars in visitor expenditures into our community and we want to try and get that back.”
It’s nearly one billion dollars directly from visitors put into the local economy. Herrell says he wants to see that kind of number again, and he hopes to get there in three to four years.
Part of getting there is by starting new initiatives like the one just started called Bring it QC. It’s a new program that asks Quad Cities residents to offer input on new event possibilities in the area. “We really wanted to engage area residents, to involve them with tourism as much as we can.”
The organization is asking for your ideas, events, gatherings, and projects. Herrell saying what you’ve seen in other places that could be done here in the Quad Cities. “What we’re trying to do is get a lot of people that are connected to a lot of different things that happen at the national level, and if they travel for one of these events or meetings and something sparks to them say well we can do that in the Quad Cities.”
The goal is to bring even more guests to the Quad Cities, which Herrell says then helps hotels, businesses, and restaurants.
Bush says it’s events like this that help boost his business saying, “We see a huge bump whenever there is an event. The more people we can get from outside the area the better.”
For more information on #BringItQC, click here.