Ames Main Street was established on January 1, 2004 as the Main Street Cultural District and rebranded as Ames Main Street in 2018.  It was the result of a 2-year local initiative to create a unique identity and focus for downtown by downtown business owners, community members, and the Ames Chamber of Commerce. The program continues to be managed by a volunteer board of directors in partnership with the Ames Chamber of Commerce and City of Ames.

Ames Main Street is an affiliate of Main Street Iowa & Main Street America. As such, every business operating in the district is a member and has access to member benefits. This is only possible through the continued financial support of individual, business, organizational, and City of Ames investment in organization. Thank You!


Advance and promote downtown as the destination District in the heart of the Ames community.


Ames Main Street will be known as a unique, vibrant and visually interesting shopping, dining and entertainment destination. The city's historic center will become the focal point of a vibrant Ames economy providing more appeal to residents, visitors and students. This economic growth will increase retail sales, property values, business profits, rents and an improved tax base. 

The District will be a natural gathering space and serve as a link to the civic, cultural and public resources in the community. Downtown Ames will be a friendly, safe and inviting place, every day - all day! 


  • Showcase the vitality of arts and cultural venues, unique businesses, and the heritage of downtown Ames, which will add to the quality of life for residents and visitors.

  • Organize event and retail promotions that increase consumer patronage of the district.

  • Enhance partnerships among the public and private sectors: retail, culture, service and hospitality.

  • Maintain the AMS environment with green spaces, public art, well-designed window displays, and convenient access for visitors.

  • Promote historic preservation and development of buildings and infrastructure through second-use projects, upper story renovation, façade improvement, residential development, and new construction.

  • Retain current and recruit new businesses to create a healthy balance and variety of retail, professional, and service entities.

Program Bylaws