May 2016 Newsletter
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Blumenthal Lansing Announces Closing

The news of the Blumenthal Lansing closure weighs heavy on the hearts of many. The economic impact is far reaching. It is imperative that we stabilize the situation and find opportunities to keep people working, living and enjoying life in the Lansing area. Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) is working diligently with the City of Lansing, Lansing Main Street, Iowa Workforce Development, NICC and more to assist the Blumenthal Lansing employees.

If you would like to know more about Blumenthal’s history, please read our story that was published about 6 months ago. (PDF)

FYI: The Blumenthal building is 104,000 square feet. If you are looking for more details about the building, visit Location One Information Systems via our website.


Point of View Bed & Breakfast


May is traditionally our time to kick off Tourism season, therefore, I felt it was a great time to get out and visit with Dianne Whitney and Andrew Wroble at their fabulous Point of View Bed & Breakfast, 416 Luster Heights Road, Harpers Ferry, Iowa, located just off Highway 76 in the bluff country of scenic Northeast Iowa. 

Dianne and Andrew’s story certainly showcases their genuine love of nature, beauty and hospitality.  Dianne moved from Northern Illinois to a farm outside of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin where she raised four children, Black Angus cattle, and sheep.  Andrew came from the State of Wyoming, studied art at the University of Iowa, worked in Singapore for a time and settled on a tree farm in rural Harpers Ferry.  In the 1990’s Andrew and Dianne met serendipitously in McGregor where Andrew had an Art Show and Dianne was browsing a book store.  They immediately felt a common connection with their love of the outdoors and they giggled sheepishly as they recalled their first date – a 7:00 AM bird walk at Effigy Mounds National Monument.  Dianne’s dream of operating a bed and breakfast became a reality when the couple married and chased the vision together thus creating “The Point of View Bed & Breakfast." 

They discovered land for sale just north of Effigy Mounds and immediately Dianne fell in love with the view.  They purchased 32 acres and Dianne set up a teepee where she planned and dreamed.  Andrew laughed in sharing that he would use the bucket of the tractor to lift Dianne up   above the trees so she could get “the view” from every vantage point.  Each bedroom,  the kitchen, sun porch and decks were all designed to catch “the view”.  Are you getting the idea of where the name for this Bed and Breakfast came from?  The spectacular view of the Upper Mississippi River Valley and the landscape rolling away from it, the natural and human heritage that is found here all offer an excellent place to hold and express a “point of view”.  

They moved into their newly constructed home in 2001, worked on the landscaping and furnishings, but didn’t open the Bed & Breakfast until April 1, 2006.  Their personal living quarters are on the lower level of the home so that the bedrooms and shared space on the upper floors are reserved for guests.  The house features two bedrooms upstairs and two bedrooms on the main level each with their own private bathrooms plus a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape from each room.  Guests have full access to the cupola, a small observation room at the very top of the house, and the use of the sunroom just off the great room.  The bed and breakfast is open year round.  

They have entertained guests from dozens of states as well as foreign countries like Germany, Poland, Japan, England, Canada, and India.  Everyone comes for a different reason, some to gather with friends, some for adventure, some for the peace, some for the outside, some for the inside.  Each guest brings their own unique background and personal story.  Guests have bravely traveled through a huge snowstorm safely arriving from Chicago for a weekend get-a-way while others from England came to reverse research migrating ancestors.  Quilters annually retreat for cozy winter weekends to share home cooked meals and colorful creations.  Returning guests also include hunters seeking elusive trophies.  Others arrive to attend reunions for family, old friends, and school classmates. 

One of the most rewarding things about being in the bed and breakfast business for them is the conversation and storytelling shared around the breakfast table in the morning or the fire ring in the evening.  The guests themselves have come to love the stories and the wealth of knowledge and information that both Dianne and Andrew share about our region.  They are quick to offer up wonderful opportunities for their guests such as visiting Effigy Mounds National Monument, Yellow River State Forest, hiking, fishing, hunting, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, kayaking and boating.  Because of the genuine interest in their guests and their wonderful hospitality, visitors arrive as guests but leave as family and come back many times for repeat stays.  The number one comment they hear is “it’s so quiet here”!!          

I would like to point out that Dianne and Andrew also own an acreage not far from their home.  In addition to the Point of View Bed & Breakfast, Sunshine Hill Farmhouse offers a small house with two bedrooms and a sleeping nook with bunk beds.  It has a kitchen, living area, bath room and laundry room and is perfect for two couples traveling together, families with children or hunters.  Sunshine Hill Farmhouse is available year round as well. 

Andrew, who has not lost sight of his own passion for art, does find time for creating beautiful ink work in his studio.  Andrew’s award winning artwork is showcased on the walls of the bed and breakfast as well as being exhibited in both local and national venues.  Current work will be displayed at Art in The Park in Elkader, Iowa in August and The Driftless Area Art Festival in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin in September of this year. 

When I asked what has been the most challenging aspect of running their business, they laughed as they stated “Wildlife does not share!!!”  They have beautiful flower beds, vegetable garden and landscaping but being so close to nature the animals and birds roam very freely around their grounds, which is all a part of the wonderful experience of being at the Point of View Bed & Breakfast.  Andrew has recently put a fence around the fruit and vegetable garden so that they will have fresh raspberries and Bluebarb (blueberries and rhubarb) Coffee Cake to share with their guests.   

As our visit came to a close, several things stuck in my mind about Dianne and Andrew – they love nature and they share nature.  You do not need to stay at the Point of View to enjoy their surroundings as they welcome guests to drop by anytime.  Dianne’s final comment to me was “I can’t believe we are getting paid to do this!  It is so much fun!  We plan to keep doing what we’re doing for a long time!”  Warm and welcoming – that’s Dianne and Andrew; spectacular view – that’s the Point of View Bed & Breakfast.

Please check them out on their website: or email them at for more information.  It is not too early to start planning your summer vacation or get-away.  EXPLORE and ENJOY what Allamakee County has to offer and like a visit to the Point of View Bed & Breakfast, you’ll love the EXPERIENCE.

By:  Ardie Kuhse


Local businesses roll out new websites

Congratulations to Scenic Outdoor Adventures on your new website! Just in time for kayak season.

Kudos to TASC on your new website! A great opportunity to share with the world what TASC is all about.


May is Tourism Month

Let’s do the math:

Approximately $40,000,000 is generated by tourism in Allamakee County. If we did not have tourists, every man, woman, and child (14,000 residents estimated) in the county would need to write a check for $2,857 to make up the dollars.

Allamakee County is leading both Clayton and Jackson counties in tourism expenditures. Allamakee County is a travel destination!

Allamakee County has a number of niche groups that find what they are looking for in our county.  Hunting, fishing, hiking, bicycling, motorcycling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, car cruising, horseback riding, bird-watching, kayaking, canoeing, boating, and now we are on the verge of inviting ATV/UTV enthusiasts.

We want our tourists to choose Allamakee County to be their overnight destination which includes lodging, meals, gas, recreation, and sightseeing.

If your business needs travel guides and maps of Allamakee County, please contact our office today!

And don’t forget - tourism training sessions are available by request.

 Upcoming Festivals 

June 6, Allamakee County Dairy Days Parade, Lansing, 7:30 p.m.
June 10-11, New Albin Days, New Albin
June 10-12, Thunder in the Park, Waukon City Park
June 12-15, WMT 600 AM Tractorcade
June 17-19, Big 4 Fair, Postville
July 20-24, Allamakee County Fair, Waukon
August 12-14, Lansing Fish Days, Lansing
August 19-20, Harpers Ferry Days, Harpers Ferry
August 19-20, Corn Days, Waukon

Do you need a list of local lodging options? Take a look at the motels, bed & bath, bed & breakfast, and campground options right here in your backyard:

Are you looking for things to do in Allamakee County? Go to Still need help, call our office! We would be happy to put an itinerary together for you!

Event Request

Don’t forget we want your monthly events for our newsletter! Events are posted on our website’s community calendar and the Northeast Iowa Tourism calendar. Larger events such as festivals are also placed on the Silos & Smokestacks and Travel Iowa Community Calendars. This allows us to create itineraries for visitors who request information for a specific time period. In order to put our best foot forward, we need your help in providing information.

Class Update

Unfortunately, we did not have enough participants to host the Social Media for Small Business class on April 20th nor did we have enough participants to host the Marketing Strategies for Small Business class on May 3rd. The next scheduled class is July 12th – Search Engine Optimization for Small Business. More information will be available in our next newsletter.

Solar Energy Guide

There were approximately 40 attendees at the Solar Workshop hosted by the Winneshiek Energy District earlier this year.  As a follow up to that event, the ACED office wanted to share the Solar Energy Guide link with those who may be interested in pursuing solar energy for their home or business.

Posting Local Jobs

ACED along with Iowa Works and NICC strongly encourage employers to list any and all job openings on Iowa Jobs website at This provides a true go to for this information. Many thanks!

Please share this newsletter with your staff! If you have feedback on our newsletter, please call Val Reinke directly at 563-568- 2624.


1   St. John’s UCC Wheatland Chicken Q       4-7 p.m.    Rural New Albin
2,- 6   City of Waukon will be Flushing Hydrants    Waukon
2   May Breakfast   Zion United Church of Christ, Waukon
2,9,16,23,30   Chess Club,                                               4-6pm    Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
2   East Elementary Concert   High School Gym, Waukon
3,10,17,24,31   Tater Tuesday   Dave's Gus & Tony's Pizza & Steakhouse
3,10,17,24,31   Tuesday Story Time 10:30-11:30 am   Robey Memorial Library
3,10,17,24,31   Keep Calm & Color: Adult Coloring   Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
3   Great Give Day   Waukon
4   Brown Bag ‘n’ Books (Adult Story Time),  12- 1 pm    Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
4, 11, 18   Sewing and Sewing Machines for Beginners   NICC Center, Waukon
4   Celebrating Cinco De Mayo Live Mariachi Band   Fiesta Vallarta, Waukon
4   Summer Rec Sign-Up Night   Waukon Wellness Center
4   Waukon Testing Sirens   Waukon
5,-6   Kee FFA Chapter Selling hanging flower baskets   Kee High School
5, 12, 19, 26   Tech Tutor, 10am-12pm   Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
5   Hook & Needle, 5:30pm   Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
5   Blood Drive   First Baptist Church, Waukon
5, 19   Wine & painting party: Sponsored by NICC   Empty Nest Winery, Waukon
6   First Friday Night Open at The Winery   Empty Nest Winery, Waukon
6   Spring Clean Up   Waukon
6   Wine Tasting   Waukon Greenhouse
7   Amish School New Furniture & Quilt Auction    Waukon Banquet Center
7   International Migratory Bird Day: Bird Walk   Effigy Mounds National Monument
7   New Albin Summer Rec Rib Fundraiser 4-7 p.m   Shooky Fink Field
8   Kee High Graduation   Lansing
8   Mother's Day    
9   Middle School Band & Vocal Concert   High School Gym
10   After School Library Board Meeting,   4:30pm    Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
10   Chamber Lunch Meeting    
10   Good Samaritan Society Potato Bake Fundraiser   Good Samaritan Society, Waukon
10   Senior Awards Night Calendar   Waukon High School
11   Family Wellness Fair   Veterans Memorial Hospital, Waukon
12   Tech Tutor,                                        10am-12pm    Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
12   T-Shirt Quilting   New Albin
13, 20   Wine Tasting   Empty Nest Winery, Waukon
14   New Albin Savings Bank Customer Appreciation Dinner 4-7 p.m   New Albin Community Center
14-15   Spring Barn Sale   892 Pole Line Rd, Postville IA
14   Master Gardeners Plant Sale   Allamakee County Fairgrounds, Waukon
15   Graduation   Waukon High School
16   TAB Meeting, 4-5pm    Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
17   Fine Arts Dessert Reception   Waukon High School
17   Fine Arts Banquet   Auditorium
19   Foundation Book Sale, 2- 6pm   Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
19   Thursday Night Book Club: Western, 6pm   Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
19   T-Shirt Quilting   New Albin  
19   Auxiliary Euchre Marathon   Senior Citizens Room at the Waukon Wellness Center
21   Keep Waukon Beautiful   Waukon
23   Last Day of School   Waukon
26   NE Iowa Area Agency on Aging One Mile Walk for Older Americans Month   Waukon Wellness Center
26   Free Class: Library 101, 5:30pm   Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
27-30   Memorial Weekend Sangria Luau   Empty Nest Winery, Waukon
28   Game Day, 10am-12pm    Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
27-30   Memorial Weekend Laua (extended hours)   Empty Nest Winery, Waukon
30   Free Waukon Community Meal   First Presbyterian Church, Waukon
30   Library Closed   Robey Memorial Library, Waukon
30   Memorial Day    
30   Memorial Day Parade   Waukon
30   Memorial Day Service   New Albin Community Center
30   Memorial Day Service   Lansing
Copyright © 2016 Allamakee County Economic Development, All rights reserved.

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