Join us! Ribbon Cutting & Open House!

Mark your calendars and join us for a Ribbon Cutting and Open House at Blue Water Bungalows in Milford! Come see the hard work they’ve done to renovate and open up another wonderful lodging option in the Iowa Great Lakes!
Join us on Thursday, August 25th from 4:00-6:00pm for beverages, tasty food, music, goodie bags, giveaways and more!

University of Okoboji Homecoming Races Cross the Finish Line

The 45th year for the University of Okoboji Homecoming Races was a huge success! The races welcomed over 700 participants from 19 different states who competed in the Triathlon, Team Triathlon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K races on Saturday, July 16th. 

The Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce was honored to take over this event impacting the community in so many ways! Our staff of three wants to say thank you for your excitement for the return of this amazing tradition. We are honored to move forward with this event thanks to the generous knowledge and experience of Bob Rose, Herman Richter, and the entire University of Okoboji team. Countless individuals helped make this year possible by marking the route, sharing their knowledge, assisting during the event, and so much more. We can’t wait to see what this race has in store for the future!

A huge thank Atlantic Bottling Company, Lakes Regional Healthcare, Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire & Rescue, Okoboji and Spirit Lake High School Track & Cross Country Teams, Kuhlman’s Lake Services, Arnolds Park Amusement Park, Body Armor, Camp Foster/YMCA, West O Beer, Drip Okoboji, Rocky Thompson Photography, Katelyn Krieger Images, and the countless volunteers who helped make this year’s event possible. 

We can’t wait to do it all again next year on Saturday, July 15th, 2023. Join the fun, always on the third Saturday in July! For a full album of images visit the Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook Page. A full list of results from the races are available at For more information or to get involved call the Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce at 712-332-2107.

New Member: Boji Balloon Bar

✨NEW MEMBER✨ Welcome Boji Balloon Bar !!
Looking to take your event to the next level? Blow it up with the amazing balloon decor Boji Balloon Bar has to offer! They also have a wonderful boutique with unique items. Give them a call or check out their social media for more information and give them a follow.

Homecoming Races Donation

Huge ✨THANK YOU✨ to Shelby Houlihan for donating her winnings to Dickinson County Trail system. Shelby won $500 for placing 1st place overall in the Half Marathon this weekend at our U of O Homecoming races!!! Shelby is an Olympic athlete and native to Iowa. We were honored to have her compete in this year’s races and even more honored when she chose to donate her winnings to a local organization. The Dickinson County Trails have an enormous impact in our community and we are excited to pass on this donation to this wonderful organization.

Introducing.. Our New Marketing & Events Coordinator!

We are so excited to introduce you to a new face at the Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. Morgan Strauss joined our team on Monday, June 13th and has already been diving deep into promoting our area and members to those near and far!


Get to Know Morgan:

Growing up in a rural small-town in Iowa, Morgan wanted an adventure, so she began working at the lakes during the summer while attending University of Northern Iowa. Eight years later and she never left!
Morgan fell in love with the lakes and now owns a home in the area with her boyfriend, Ethan, and dog, Walter. You can often find them enjoying the many activities the Iowa Great Lakes has to offer from the lake to the bike trails and the many events throughout the year.
Morgan has experience working in the hospitality and events industries within the Iowa Great Lakes Area and is excited to bring her experiences and strengths to the Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber. Promoting the lakes area businesses and events in the communities is a dream job for her and she’s so excited to be a part of our team!

IGLA Chamber Awarded Community Event of the Year for University of Okoboji Winter Games

Mid-America Chamber Executives (MACE) announced the recipients of their 2022 Annual Conference Awards at their spring conference in May. MACE is comprised of chamber professionals in the six-state area of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce received the Community Event of the Year Award for the six-state region. The award honored the IGLA Chamber for their annual University of Okoboji Winter Games. The 42ndAnnual Winter Games featured events of all types for the entire family, supporting business and providing a major boost to the economy of the Iowa Great Lakes Region. Attracting tens of thousands of people, several hundred events, and as many volunteers, the Games continue to grow every year.

This award is presented for excellence in Chamber-led Community events. The events are judged on criteria such as value to the community and chamber, resonance within their community and measurable results and innovation.

“It was a surprise and an honor to get the news that the IGLA Chamber of Commerce won such a prestigious award for the University of Okoboji Winter Games event” says Blain Andera, President and CEO of the Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber. “This event couldn’t happen without the dedicated chamber team, chamber board and volunteers, sponsors and the business and community support. This is truly an award for everyone involved in the Winter Games!”