PPR Strategies


What Your Community Can Learn From the World’s Only Corn Palace

Recently, on a trip to South Dakota, I visited the world’s only Corn Palace! (I bet you had no idea a “corn palace” could even be a thing!)

The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota has been around for 120 years. It was originally created as a place where residents could come together for a fall festival each year in late August, around the harvest. It was also a way for the town of Mitchell to proudly display their robust agricultural industry.

The Corn Palace ultimately became a tourist draw in a town that didn’t have one. 500,000 tourists visit the Corn Palace every year to see the themed corn murals that adorn the building, which artisans create out of more than 300,000 ears of corn, along with other grains.

The Corn Palace has also become a cultural recreation center where people can go to watch basketball, attend concerts, or check out other community events. The community of Mitchell now has an active Main Street community with retail shops, which is possible because of the draw of the Corn Palace.

This is a great example of how a community without a tourist draw can transform into a heavily visited destination that’s still popular 100 years later. And it all starts with someone having a creative idea and some funding. 

We’ve worked with many communities that didn’t have indoor or outdoor tourist attractions, and helped them create opportunities (like a music festival or golf tournament).

Would you like to come up with a new signature event that’s a tourist draw for your community? PPR Strategies can help you come up with an idea and figure out how to collaborate with other local organizations to leverage their volunteer base and resources. Contact us here to set up a free 15-minute consultation to explore working together.  

‘Til next time,

P.S. Click here to see more of my travel adventures and how I’m supporting the travel industry. 🙂

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