The following points were gleaned from the research that North Star Destination Strategies conducted from August to December 2010.
• There is a desire to work more as a region, with 88% of respondents indicating that leaders and stakeholders in the area should collaborate and support regional efforts.
• There was a strong desire to provide input into the research process. More than 1000 people provided input into this research from completing online surveys to one-on-one meetings to phone call to undercover interviews.
• We validated that our region is a great place to live and work, but not many people outside the area are aware of this. Quality of life was identified as our region’s biggest strength.
• The residents of our region rank us well below the national average when it comes to being a good place to visit. There appears to be lack of broad understanding of all of the visitor related amenities throughout our region.
• The Corridor’s footprint is primarily defined by the area between its anchor cities – Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, but surrounding communities are also included.
• There is a strong sentiment that increased collaboration between corridor Governments as well as economic development organizations would be beneficial.
• There is a fear that individual communities may lose their own identities in a regional branded approach.
• The term “Corridor” has a strong internal / regional awareness but almost no awareness outside the area.
• There is strong individual value, both cultural and economic, in all parts of our region, but there is a strong sentiment that collectively, the sum of those parts working as a single region can create a stronger, more vital environment.
The complete research will be posted by the end of January.
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