June 25, 2022

THE LIST: Placement is everything in attracting ‘stay-cationers’ with amenities

With gas prices how they are right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if people are taking more stay-cations this summer. I count what Kilee and I did, staying here in Iowa, as a stay-cation. We saw a lot of awesome things, practically in our backyard. It’s fun to see how many things you miss if you don’t pay attention to what’s in your backyard.le to buy that for under $6 per gallon here.

With gas prices how they are right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if people are taking more stay-cations this summer. I count what Kilee and I did, staying here in Iowa, as a stay-cation. We saw a lot of awesome things, practically in our backyard. It’s fun to see how many things you miss if you don’t pay attention to what’s in your backyard.

We’ve got paving projects going on right now around the county. A couple of them are in spots that are key to area tourism, like the Airport Road and Lakeview Drive. Airport Road will be paved for the first time, which I suppose will be a good boost for the Iowa Aviation Museum, a local treasure we have. I can’t tell you how many times I drive out to Lake Greenfield and there are people using that park who aren’t from here. Having a better road to both of our lakes is an important undertaking.

Beyond the sights we saw on our vacation, I noticed several little things cities have done to promote tourism, and it piqued my interest.

For instance, I’ve never seen so many bike paths as what I saw in Bettendorf, one of the Quad Cities. They’re like mini-highways, with yellow center lines. They’re probably 10 to 12 feet wide, giving plenty of room for two-way bike traffic. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a bike path in our area communities? We really don’t. I have a recumbent bike in a shed at my parents’ house I’d bring here and use more, if we had one.

On our way to the Quad Cities, we drove through Riverside. On our way through town, I observed one of the most sprawling city parks I’ve seen in my life. It had tennis courts, basketball courts, a skate park, swimming pool, ball fields and more, all in one location. You name it, it had it. That’s in a community of 1,060, according to the 2020 census data.

I know that money doesn’t grow on trees and we should be happy with what we’ve got, but what I’m saying is placement is everything. We have awesome amenities here in Adair County in our parks and our communities in general. We have an awesome Adair County Conservation Board that works hard. So do the city folks who maintain our parks. We have most all of the amenities I saw while on vacation, but the placement of these amenities together is what made these facilities memorable.

It’s my hope that we continue to think on the cutting edge of design and placement of new updates we make in our communities going forward. Families are watching and are always looking for places to go visit. There are things we can do to move ourselves up the list of those places, so let’s do them.

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.