Corning, Iowa (pop. 1,635) is our featured rural community this week! The thriving scene in Corning is the result of a forward-thinking community that is full of vision for their small town. We'll be sharing stories throughout the week from local leaders and business owners who are making an impact here. Today's guest blog post is a collaborative effort from community leaders Laramie Sproles, Beth Waddle, and Anne Greenwalt.

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If you travel through the rolling hills of Southwest Iowa, past the corn fields and beyond the bustle of the busy interstate, you may be surprised to discover a small community with a thriving entrepreneurial population and local personality to rival even the largest of cities. Located in the middle of the Omaha, Des Moines, and Kansas City triangle, Corning, Iowa is a no-stoplight town overflowing with opportunity, relaxation, and fun.

As a travel destination, this little town has a lot to offer. From award-winning shops and restaurants to a floating winery, there is something here for everyone. A walk down Corning’s main street reveals many must-see places, including Primrose — a wonderful farm-to-table restaurant; Carvers Ridge — a unique curated and handmade shop; and a pharmacy with an old-style soda fountain. Relax at Background’s Coffee Bar & Boutique or catch a show at the newly-renovated Corning Opera House. Come at the right time and you may find yourself swept up in one of Corning’s many events, like the Battle of the BBQ, Market Down Davis, or even a Hairball concert at the Adams County Fair. With a new hotel opening in 2020, Corning is about to become an even more accessible travel destination.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also be satisfied here, with plenty of swimming, golfing, and camping opportunities in the area. Lake Icaria — Corning’s 650-acre lake — is a popular destination for hiking, fishing, boating, and more. You can rent watercraft at the marina, play a round of disk golf at the 18-hole disk golf course, swim at the beach, or even go on a scenic hike. With two campgrounds, full-service cabins, and brand new cottages, there are plenty of places to stay at the lake. Many of the cabins and cottages are open during the winter, so ice fisherman and other nature lovers can enjoy the beautiful natural spaces in Corning all year round.

While visitors can enjoy the many things this little community has to offer, those looking to live and work in Corning will find even more opportunities. The creativity-centered elementary school and newly renovated high school are great for families with kids, and many young people who grew up in the community are moving back to raise their children. There is also a thriving church community here, and the wellness center, aquatic center, various parks, and recreational sport leagues make it easy to stay active and get outside.

As a thriving main street community, Corning is in the position to offer current and future entrepreneurs the support they need to bring creative ideas to life. The families who move back to Corning often bring small business with them or return to start a business of their own. There are even opportunities for entrepreneurs not looking to start from scratch to become the new owners of already established businesses. If owning a business isn’t your dream, the job market in Corning is flush with career prospects in health care, technology, and more.

Whether you’re just looking for a place to visit or wanting to relocate, Corning is a thriving community with many opportunities to live, work, and play. Corning, Iowa has a personality larger than its population and a culture that flourishes as this community continues to grow and thrive.


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