A movie marquee sign says "Zero to Hero." Text overlay on the image says "The Tour of Empty Buildings"

How they filled 10 empty buildings and saved the movie theater

When Deb first told me about The Tour of Empty Buildings, I thought it was brilliant. Here’s how it started.

In her first week on the job as Chamber Director, she got asked:
“What are YOU going to do to fill those empty buildings?”

And she said:
“WE are going to hold a tour and show them off.”

And they did. They filled 10 of the 12 buildings on the tour and saved their movie theater.

Looking back, this was a disaster recovery story. Webster City, Iowa, had lost their one big employer that led to them losing a lot of other businesses in town. Lots of people unemployed, evicted, and worse.

The tour was the start of an economic recovery that didn’t require attracting a new factory or a big new employer. It brought employment levels back up to where they were before the factory closed. 

They did it themselves.

One of my favorite parts was when Deb sat down with the old guys who drink coffee and complain. Here’s what she told them: 

That’s from the new video Deb and I just put together. It’s just the story of the tour in 18 minutes. You can sign up to get the rest of the video here: 

The Tour of Empty Buildings

Podcast fans rejoice! 

No, we aren’t starting a regular podcast. BUT… next best thing, we’re doing a full audio version of each new video we create.

You can download the audio version to listen in your favorite ways. You can sign up for the Tour AUDIO version here: 

The Tour of Empty Buildings (it’s the same place you can signup for the video. It’s all one package, no added charge.) 

Keep shaping the future of your town,