June 8, 2021

Late last month, skateboarders from around the world dropped into Lauridsen Skatepark for the Dew Tour. It was a long-awaited weekend for both Dew Tour athletes and everyone that played a part in making the new Lauridsen Skatepark a reality.

Athletes from 38 countries flocked to Des Moines and made it their home during the Dew Tour and the days leading up to the event. Thousands of local, national, and international spectators sat riverside as they got to experience one of the first major events in Des Moines since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Because the Lauridsen Skatepark is situated along the Des Moines River, it provides a great view of the river and downtown, as well as a future Central Iowa Water Trails. During the Dew Tour, not only were people watching from the streets and stands, but also the river.

As usual, our locals came out in droves to support the event, and many local businesses got involved by offering watch parties or themed merchandise (Raygun) or drinks (Court Avenue Brewing). In Des Moines, we don’t just love sports; we live sports. That’s why projects like the Lauridsen Skatepark and Central Iowa Water Trails are ideal for our community. There is a clear desire for adventure and outdoor recreation, and these placemaking initiatives provide opportunity for just that.

Bringing an international event to the area elevated Des Moines not just as a great city in the Midwest, but also as a great place for large-scale events and extreme sports. Des Moines is becoming known as an ideal host for sporting events as we offer a wide variety of venues, with Lauridsen Skatepark being another feather in our cap.

When people come here for these events, there is a halo effect; guests experience the great restaurants, parks, and other attractions while they’re here. This all contributes to the buzz around Greater Des Moines that makes our region one of the fastest-growing metros in the Midwest. Consider the following:

  • For Dew Tour, there was a social reach peak of 55.9 MILLION people in one day.
  • There were 5,406 combined social posts and broadcast stories that included Dew Tour.
  • There were 61 broadcast mentions of Dew Tour.
  • Dew Tour highlights are running twice on a national NBC broadcast and feature two commercials for Des Moines and an in-broadcast segment featuring pro skater and Des Moines-ian Mike Vallely on why Des Moines is so great.

That’s a whole lot of eyeballs on Des Moines, for a sport that has tons of street cred — literally.

On an annual basis, Iowa outdoor recreation generates $8.7 billion in consumer spending, 83,000 jobs and $649 million in state and local tax revenue. That’s why projects like the Lauridsen Skatepark and Central Iowa Water Trails aren’t just fun and exciting; they’re catalysts for tourism expansion, economic development and workforce attraction that ultimately elevate our city and our region.

This is just the beginning of what outdoor venues like Lauridsen Skatepark have to offer on a local and international competition level. Now that events are back, we can’t wait to see what else is on deck!

About the Author: Alex Wilson is the Communications and PR Manager at Catch Des Moines. She enjoys exploring everything Des Moines has to offer and spending time outside with her three dogs.