City of Clear Lake to apply for CAT grant as part of upgrade of plans for Surf Music Enrichment & Immersive Center

CLEAR LAKE — The City of Clear Lake is planning to apply for a $1.5 million Community Attractions and Tourism grant as part of an upgrade of the plans for the Surf Ballroom Music Enrichment & Immersive Center that’s part of the city’s Surf District Destination Iowa project.

City Administrator Scott Flory says project leaders took another look at the Music Enrichment Center and wanted to add immersive technology enhancements to it to keep it relevant in the future.  “Through our process of sort of reimagining the scope and purpose of the Music Enrichment Center, we talked about the displays, the exhibits, the things that would be in it, and these were more static kinds of things. Through our conversations, we thought if we were going to ensure that this is relevant in the 21st Century, we need to be more exciting than this. How do we continue to keep the legacy of the Winter Dance Party, the three iconic performers, and just the music in general relevant going forward in the 21st Century so the Gen Zs, the Millennials, the Gen Xers, that it’s interesting to them.”

Flory says after discussing the project with Iowa Economic Development Authority leaders, they encouraged the city to look into applying for a CAT grant.  “They also indicated that this is a project that would make a good application for some additional funds. That was music to our ears, because this immersive technology does not come cheap. It’s expensive to do these things, so we decided at that point we would pursue the CAT grant through Enhance Iowa.”

Flory spoke to the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors during a workshop session earlier this morning. The supervisors agreed that they would consider being part of a public match as part of the grant application process.