Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
July 2, 1999

FMCA comes to Ames

by Anne Dolan

Wheels -- lots of them -- are coming to Ames and to Iowa State later this month. The Family Motor Coach Association will draw about 15,000 people and an estimated 5,000 motor homes for its annual summer convention July 27-29 (Tuesday through Thursday).

An "advance team" will be in Ames July 19 and convention attendees will arrive over a four-day period, Friday, July 23, through Monday, July 26, when 1,000 to 1,500 motor homes are expected each day.

"I would encourage people to allow a little extra time in their own schedules during this time, but they shouldn't avoid restaurants or theaters," said Mara Bernson, director of conference services. "Just be aware there will be an additional 15,000 people in town that week."

The Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau is the host of the event, but Iowa State facilities will be used heavily, Bernson said. The Iowa State Center (buildings and parking lots) and the Lied Center will be the sites for most events, including seminars and product displays. Other seminars and youth events are scheduled in the Memorial Union, but the food court and other services there will remain open to all.

Attendees' motor coaches will be parked in fields east of the Towers residence complex, north of the Vet Med campus and south of the ISU Research Park. Bernson said walking and golf carts are the preferred transportation modes among convention visitors. Special golf cart paths, from the Towers to campus, the Iowa State Center to campus and between the Vet Med campus and Iowa State Center, will be designated for them. Drivers are asked to be alert for golf cart traffic.

Most of the convention is closed to the public. The exception is 800-plus display motor homes at the Iowa State Center and Lied Center. Exhibit hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, July 26, and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. The daily fee to view the exhibits is $5 (children 12 years and under are free).

What changes:

  • Lied Center: Fitness center (upper track and weights area) is open regular summer hours; main floor track area and some racquetball courts reserved for FMCA guests only.
  • Beyer Hall and State Gym: recreation schedules unchanged
  • Orange route shuttle service will continue between Vet Med and central campus. Commuter parking will be moved from the Iowa State Center lots. Orange route buses will carry notices indicating where riders should park.
  • Northbound traffic on Wallace Road (Lincoln Way to Lied Center) reduced to one lane to create space for golfcart lanes.
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