Dubuque's Grand River Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

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By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - The Grand River Center, Dubuque's largest convention center, is celebrating ten years.

In the past decade that center has hosted 6200 events.

1.3 million people walked through the center's doors, including President George W. Bush and President Obama.

Grand River Center General Manager Mitzi Yourdy said, "We've had the opportunity to meet them and work with the Secret Service so that was always exciting. "

Hundreds of service men and women know the Grand River Center as the place where they re-united with their families.

It's also where more than a thousand couples celebrated their wedding. Sharing their first dance, while loved ones toast the happy couple.

"We have families who are on their 3rd or 4th daughter with us so we feel like we're growing with the families," said Yourdy

But the center's bread and butter are the dozens of conventions held there each year.

Dubuque Convention and Visitors Bureau Director of Sales Julie Kronlage said. "When we bring in conventions and groups in the middle of the week they're helping our restaurants and they're helping our businesses and our retailers during times when they might normally be a little slower. "

Knonlage says the 72,000 convention goers who visit Dubuque each year, notice Dubuque's tourist attractions, and later return with their families.

Mayor Roy Buol says that trickle down impact was part of the plan all along.

Buol said, "The Grand River Center is probably the key asset and without this we would not be experiencing all these bigger conventions and national conventions. "

As for the people who live and play in Dubuque everyday, Mayor Buol says the Grand River Center is place where life happens.

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