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MUSCATINE, Iowa — The Muscatine Convention and Visitors Bureau discussed its new plans with members of Muscatine's hospitality industry in a meeting hosted at the Muscatine Art Center on Wednesday afternoon.

The CVB is starting a new marketing campaign, with "Made in Muscatine" as its tag. Nick Cusick, the organization's director, showed examples of how the tagline could be used which also displayed a logo he'd created that will be polished by a graphic designer supplied by the Eastern Iowa Tourism Association with money from the state.

The idea of the "Made in Muscatine" campaign is to showcase Muscatine's opportunity for experiences, to make the city known for more than its industry.

"We make office furniture and memories," Cusick explained.

The CVB is making other marketing pushes, too, and working to improve community communication and outreach.

Last month, it started a new email campaign. The monthly e-Newsletter gives subscribers a heads up to upcoming events and attractions as well as keeping them informed of CVB news. To sign-up for the newsletter, visit the CVB's website,

Also part of the email campaign is the creation of a biweekly lodging specials email designed for frequent visitors which lodging businesses in Muscatine can use to promote any deals they may be having.

Further, the CVB is looking to make the money it has available to help local tourist attractions wider known. Previously, the funds have been available as a "Request for Support" which Cusick said might not have conveyed to potential recipients what kinds of support they could request in addition to planning and promotion support. The CVB will now be pushing the monetary support it has to give as "mini-grants" and continuing to offering planning and promotion support.

Additionally, the organization is looking into hiring seasonal employees to provide a CVB presence at local events, such as the sports tournaments that Muscatine Parks and Recreation Superintendent of Parks Nick Gow told attendees about.

Those tournaments, including the College Search Kickoff hosted at the Muscatine Soccer Complex and the Melon City Criterium at Weed Park, bring people in to eat, stay and play in Muscatine. Parks and Recreation works to balance the economic opportunities presented by tournaments and events and allowing for local usage while properly maintaining all the facilities. To best take advantage of the draws of large events, the city is working to partner with the CVB to better promote local businesses to those visitors.

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Education and general news reporter, as well as film critic