Clear Lake, Iowa – April 4, 2024 – The City of Clear Lake and the North Iowa Cultural Center and Museum are thrilled to announce that they have been awarded a $400,000 Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant towards the construction of the Surf District Music Enrichment and Immersive Center. This grant will be instrumental in bringing to life a vibrant cultural hub that celebrates Clear Lake’s rich musical heritage and fosters community engagement.

The Surf District Music Enrichment and Immersive Center will be a dynamic space featuring a lobby, ticket office, gift shop, rooftop observation deck/performance space, and 1,800 square feet dedicated to showcasing Clear Lake’s significant contributions to music history. From Buddy Holly to modern-day musicians, Clear Lake has played a pivotal role in shaping the musical landscape, and this center will serve as a testament to that legacy.

This latest grant comes in addition to the Destination Iowa Grant awarded in December 2022. The City of Clear Lake received $4,370,000 towards the Clear Lake Surf District project, a transformative initiative aimed at enhancing the city’s cultural and recreational offerings. This funding will support the expansion and relocation of Clear Lake’s Music Enrichment Center, enabling improved performances and educational experiences. Furthermore, it will facilitate gateway and streetscape enhancements around and on Buddy Holly Place, as well as waterfront connections from the Surf Ballroom to the lakeshore.

The combined impact of these grants represents a significant milestone for Clear Lake, with $35.2 million in public and private investment committed to the revitalization of the Clear Lake Surf District. Through these initiatives, Clear Lake is poised to emerge as a premier destination for tourists and locals alike, offering unparalleled cultural experiences and recreational opportunities.

“Receiving the Community Attraction and Tourism grant is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our community in promoting Clear Lake as a premier destination. This funding will help us showcase our vibrant music history and cultural offerings, attracting visitors from far and wide,” said Stacy Doughan, Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO.

Clear Lake Tourism Director Libbey Hohn echoed these sentiments, stating, “We’re thrilled to see the Surf District Music Enrichment and Immersive Center project receive support through the CAT grant. This investment will further elevate Clear Lake’s position as a must-visit destination for music enthusiasts and cultural explorers, ensuring unforgettable experiences for all who come to our community.”

For more information about the Clear Lake Surf District project and upcoming developments, please subscribe to our Explore Clear Lake Newsletter.