Sioux City is hosting 160 economic development professionals from across the state this week. Sioux City economic development director Marty Dougherty says the annual spring meeting gives them a chance to talk about ways to deal with the tough economy.

Dougherty there are a lot of issues and challenges in these tough times and the theme of the conference is "Changing Times Conquering Challenges." He says there will be state economic development officials as well as representatives from utilities and other businesses as they discuss the issue. Dougherty says the conference brings its own economic boost to the western Iowa city.

He says it’s an opportunity to show off Sioux City and the economic development steps they’ve taken, and he says the hotels and motels will benefit from hosting the conference. The Professional Developers of Iowa hold two conferences each year, rotating from the east and the west side of the state.