Catch Des Moines watching for coronavirus effects on convention business

Abstract banner coronavirus strain model from Wuhan, China

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau is dealing with coronavirus concerns while inviting people to come to town.

"We're letting our clients know that as of this date there are no confirmed cases in Iowa, and there are no federal restrictions in traveling to Iowa at this point. We are currently hosting visitors" says Catch Des Moines President and CEO Greg Edwards.

He says they're providing clients with contract information for the Polk County and Iowa Department of Public Health.

Edwards says lost convention business can cost a city a lot of money.

"When you're looking at a large convention of 2,000 to 3,000 people, you're talking $8 to $10 million in economic impact that you're losing. It's a big concern" Edwards says

He says they're in regular communication with convention and visitors bureaus across the country about coronavirus.

The city of Chicago has lost a pair of large conventions out of concerns for coronavirus. Right now five people in Illinois have tested positive for the illness.

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