The La Crescent American Legion, Post 595 is excited to announce the sale of its property to the La Crescent Area Event Center, a 501(c)3 and other investors.
Please join the La Crescent American Legion, La Crescent Event Center Board and City of La Crescent at the La Crescent Legion at 1 p.m., Sept. 6. See designs of the new Event Center and look at changes to be made to Veterans Park.
The La Crescent American Legion Post 595 was founded by David Gittens, who fought in World War I and Carl Leidel, who fought in World War II. It was built in 1948-1949 and went through multiple remodels with the final one in 1998 when the kitchen and restaurant were added.
Over the years the Legion has made countless donations to La Crescent and the surrounding communities including the fire department and first responder units, area scouts, Apple Annies, Legion Baseball, Boys State, and Mosher Home. The Legion also donated to a couple major projects including $10,000 to the Houston County Veterans Memorial near the Caledonia Courthouse and $40,000 to the Legion Park remodel.
The Legion has supported education in the community as well with donations to the high school including $100,000 for a new track, $15,000 to $20,000 annually for athletic programs, annual scholarships, new band uniforms, calculators for math class and sponsored children to go to school safety patrol for cross walks.
The Event Center Story
A new American Legion gathering space, combined with a beautiful venue for weddings and other events has been a vision of Dick Wieser’s for years. The dream is becoming a reality after over three years of planning and collaborating.
June, 2013: A vision began with a simple thought, “What about building an Event Center for La Crescent and surrounding areas?” The American Legion Clubrooms were searching for a solution to maintain their clubroom.
Summer/Fall: Others saw the same vision and the 2014 La Crescent Area Event Center Board was formed.
A 501(c)3 was created to enable the board to accept donations.
Representatives from the American Legion began working with the La Crescent Area Event Center Board.
Thus the First Collaboration was formed.
From 2014 to 2017, the City of La Crescent had long searched for a site and a plan to bring a hotel to the city.
City Economic Development committee sought out a hotel development group and contacted the La Crescent Area Event Center Board. A hotel would be a taxable project. Thus, a re-development TIF could be established to assist with the Event Center and adjacent Hotel development and both could become a reality. The TIF would help with funding the demolition of legion building and help provide parking for 150 cars.
The second collaboration was formed between the board, the legion and a Hotel Development Group.
The City of La Crescent saw the vision, and adjusted its park plan for Veteran's Park to include the proposed event center and hotel. The park plan includes upgrading playground equipment, park shelter, parking and restrooms
The collaboration now includes four entities:
The La Crescent Area Event Center Board
The American Legion Club
A Hotel Development Group
The City of La Crescent
This collaboration plan will bring an estimated value of $10,000,000 to our La Crescent economy--this figure does not include the economic benefits.
Benefits of a LaCrescent Area Event Center:
1. New Improved City Park with many new facilities
2. Guarantee the American Legion Post 595 a bright future with fiscal viability and a designated area within the center for Legion activities.
3. Senior groups, non-profit groups, civic groups, etc., will have access to meeting areas.
4. Citizens will have a state of the art facility with a capacity of up to 400 guests for celebrations, large meetings or conferences, thus filling a present void.
5. The event center with a proposed 50-plus room hotel in close proximity will be an attractive draw for the community.
6. The enhanced park area will provide a great outdoor space and a possible trail head for bicycling enthusiasts.
7. Economic benefits including jobs, increased tourism, and the availability of services that will all result in a higher base.
8 As one enters the city from the north, the visual impact will be inviting, impressive, and give all residents a sense of pride and accomplishment.