The Newton Convention & Visitors Bureau has officially been awarded the bid as the new sponsor of the Interstate 80 Mitchellville eastbound rest area.
“We’ve all seen those familiar blue and white signs along the highways, marking the state’s rest areas, and we’re excited about this new venture we’re undertaking as the sponsor for the next three years” said Linda Bacon, executive director of the Newton CVB. “We’re always looking for creative new ways to gain more visibility to the community of Newton; and with over 17,000 Annualized Average Daily Traffic count at this particular rest area, the Newton CVB and its Board of Directors thought this would be a good way to attract visitors before they get to Newton,” Bacon concluded.
The Iowa Department of Transportation estimates 16 million people visit the rest areas each year. It’s kicked off a new sponsorship program, asking private businesses and organizations to sponsor the 37 interstate rest areas.
“Interstate sponsorship was authorized by the Federal Highway Administration a little over a year ago,” Iowa DOT spokesperson Steve McMenamin said. “The program allows sponsors to help offset operating costs; not only for the rest areas but the highway system as a whole.”
Businesses or organizations can choose to sponsor one or several rest areas for a three-year contract. The Iowa DOT’s program allows sponsors to place their business name or logo on signage along the roadway near the rest area as well as inside the building. Money from the sponsors will go toward keeping up the rest areas and other improvements to the state’s highways. The Iowa DOT hopes to have signs ready to put up in December.