Local tourism professionals chose Waterloo Black Hawks games as the area’s Outstanding Attraction on Thursday during the annual Cedar Valley Tourism Awards.
For each of the past 16 years, Experience Waterloo and the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau have spotlighted businesses, organizations, and individuals in Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and surrounding communities who enhance and improve visitor experiences. Thursday’s awards ceremony was held online. Initial nominations were made throughout the spring by visitors and members of the public.
“We are very proud and honored to receive this award, because it is an affirmation of the Waterloo Black Hawks’ value to our community,” said Black Hawks President of Business Operations Joe Greene. “I don’t need to tell anyone that times are difficult for tourism and hospitality businesses, but bringing people to Young Arena and downtown Waterloo has a multiplier effect on our business community. The entire industry will have a role in revitalizing the local economy when COVID-19 concerns diminish, and we look forward to playing our part.”
Black Hawks games have an estimated $2.4 million dollars in estimated annual economic impact. Despite the cancelation of eight 2019/20 regular season home games due to the coronavirus, the team still drew more than 56,000 people for 22 contests.
The Black Hawks organization has been at the forefront of many experience-enhancing renovations to city-owned Young Arena in recent years, which have included the Coors Light Cold Zone lounge, a new Party Town Outfitters team store, and retrofitting the building with luxury suites, all since 2015.
This is the second consecutive spring in which the Black Hawks have earned a significant local business award. In 2019, the team was named Business of the Year by Grow Cedar Valley, an honor bestowed for promoting the quality of life and making an outstanding contribution to the Cedar Valley community, economy, and residents.
During previous Cedar Valley Tourism Awards celebrations, the Black Hawks were denoted the 2009 Business of the Year and 2006 Waterloo Friend of Tourism.