Despite the closure of Highway 75 on April 1, sales tax receipts for the month of April indicate growth in Nebraska City’s economy.
Last fall’s early closure of Arbor Lodge State Historical Park by the Nebraska Department of Games and Parks didn’t seem to affect the numbers either.
Since the park’s early closing was made public, Nebraska City has seen a 6.57 percent increase in sales tax revenue over the previous year.
According to a press release Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce, millions of dollars in rehabilitation downtown, a new radio station, business development on south 11th Street, the city’s commitment to 1-gig Internet service, the opening of the new hospital in the fall, and increased public events and marketing, “a sense of optimism is being felt in the community.”
“The big number everyone was waiting to see was the impact of Highway 75’s closure on April 1,” the release said. “While some businesses are still feeling a very significant impact because their customers can’t easily reach them, overall the community continues to prosper. April 2014 saw a 9.6% increase in sales tax revenue over April 2013. April was in fact the 7th best month of revenue since 2006.
“We’re still waiting for the biggest impact from our new marketing efforts,” said Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce Director Tim Pendrell, “but overall we’re very pleased with the progress thus far.”
April coincided with new events and marketing planned by Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce and supported by the Otoe County Visitors Committee and City of Nebraska City to mitigate the damage done by the highway closure. April 2014 saw the debut of their new visitor’s website,, the return of the historic Apple Blossom Festival, the Nebraska Bloody Mary State Championships, increased marketing for Arbor Day, and the launch of their new Red to the Core marketing campaign featuring billboards, print, and digital advertising. Also in the month of April, the Smithsonian Magazine named Nebraska City the 9th best small town to visit in America due to the town’s unique history and 10 museums.
With Arbor Lodge State Historical Park now open, great events planned this summer and Highway 75 construction looking to be completed on schedule, Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce is anticipating more great news in the months ahead.
“This is only the beginning, we’re anticipating some really big announcements in the near future, and of course, the AppleJack Festival and Nebraska Cornhusking State Championships are really right around the corner,” said Tim Pendrell.