Fort Madison’s new tourism and marketing director sees regional cooperation as a key to bringing visitors to town.
Jean Peiton says she has spent her first few weeks on the job getting to know the community and its residents.
She says she’s still learning the tourism side of things as her background is in marketing.
One thing Peiton has realized, since taking the job, is that she must work closely with her counterparts in neighboring communities.
"Because none of us have a huge pull where we are going to maintain someone for an extended period of time," says Peiton, "but the area has a lot, between vineyards, historic sites and scenic byways, that it could encompass working with all of the neighboring communities to get tourists into the area."
The idea of working regionally was a priority of the Fort Madison Tourism Commission when it started looking to hire a tourism and marketing director.
Peiton says short-term, she wants to build on Fort Madison’s strengths: Tri-State Rodeo, Old Fort Madison and the Mexican Fiesta.
She says a long term goal is to make sure the soon-to-be former Iowa State Penitentiary is being used to its full potential.
Peiton says that facility cannot be allowed to deteriorate because of its historic value.