2023 Inter-City Visit: Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana

InterCity Visit Logo

The Ames Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2023 Inter-City Visit from October 18-20, where city and community leaders from Ames, Boone, and Nevada toured Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana, and met with their community leaders.

“The goal of the 2023 Inter-City Visit is straightforward,” said Dan Culhane, President & CEO of the Ames Chamber of Commerce. “To learn from leaders in Lafayette / West Lafayette about what has been successful in their community and determine new opportunities in our market.” The Greater Lafayette region was chosen, in part, because of its similar size to our region. It is also home to Purdue University and includes a robust research park.

On the opening day of the trip, the delegation experienced two panels. The first was moderated by Scott Walker, President & CEO of Greater Lafayette Commerce, and focused on their highly effective regional partnerships. The second session centered on downtown business development. Panelists included city representation and private developers. The delegation also had a chance to tour MatchBOX Cowering Studio, an amenity in Lafayette that was developed from a restored downtown building. The operation has 300+ members that include tech startups, professional services, and those in creative fields.

The next day, the delegation visited Purdue Research Park for discussions at the Railyard atrium. They heard from the CEO or Wabash Heartland Innovation Network, a panel on Town and Gown relationships, and a presentation on “all things Research Park.” That evening, former Iowa State University and Purdue University President Dr. Martin Jischke, addressed the group with unique perspective from both communities. Jischke was the 13th president of Iowa State, serving from June 1, 1991, to August 14, 2000, then went onto become the 10th president at Purdue.

Before leaving, a group walked the campus of Purdue University and took in the beauty of another large, land grant university. As is often the case, it is the time between sessions that spark ideas on how to learn from and improve our own community.

​This was the sixth Inter-City visit that the Ames Chamber of Commerce has hosted. Previously visited communities include Manhattan, Kansas; Columbia, Missouri; Bloomington, Indiana; and Fort Collins, Colorado. Last year, the communities of Marion, Cedar Falls, and Dubuque in Iowa were visited.

It was an amazing 3 days for our entire delegation. Thank you to the many individuals who helped plan the trip and agenda. Greater Lafayette Commerce, City of Lafayette, and the City of West Lafayette are just a few.

​A special thank you to our sponsors who helped make this trip a reality: Availa Bank, Keen Project Solutions, Nyemaster Good, RES Group, Hunziker Companies, Discover Ames, Sigler Companies, and Nelson Electric Company.