The Amana Colonies are a great place to live and own a business. The seven villages are an extremely safe place to live and work with very affordable housing. If you are considering a move to the Colonies you will find the villages very safe with a great school system, low taxes, plenty of outdoor activities from golf to biking and hiking trails. If it’s entertainment you’re searching for the businesses put on numerous festivals and events year-round and you can join in on the fun. We are home to a live professional theater company, and there are many organizations to join depending on your interests. Looking for big-time, Big Ten sports? The University of Iowa is only a quick 30-minute drive and offers sports, music, and theater.
Starting or purchasing a business? You’ll discover the steady stream of tourists that visit each year as we are one of Iowa’s leading visitor destinations. The festivals bring awareness and fun to the area and will add to your profits. Retail and hospitality businesses are located throughout the seven villages with a majority concentrated in the largest village, Amana. The Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors Bureau can provide you with valuable information to get your business going in the right direction.
There are a few things that make living in the Colonies unique.
We are a National Historic Landmark and to keep this status the appearance of the Amana Colonies needs to conform to a set of historic standards. These guidelines are set by the Amana Colonies Land Use District (ACLUD). ACLUD is made up of elected individuals from within the community and holds meetings on the monthly basis. If you want to modify or build a structure, chances are you will need a permit from ACLUD. They are the final word in what can be done on a property in the Amana Colonies.
The Amana Colonies are not incorporated as a city. Outside of the land use district jurisdiction, the local government would be Iowa County. The county seat is Marengo and located about 6 miles west of South Amana. Since the Amana Colonies are not incorporated many smaller organizations have been established by the residents to provide services and features that would normally be handled by a city government.
Amana Colonies Historic Sites Foundation is a non-profit organization that saves, improves, and repurposes historic buildings and features of the Amana Colonies.
The Amana Heritage Society is another non-profit that acts as the historian for the community. Along with gathering artifacts and historical information they also interpret and bring to life the unique culture of the Amana Colonies.
The Amana Colonies Recreational Trail is a nonprofit organization that is the driving force behind the recreation trail that runs between Amana and Middle Amana and that circles the Lily Lake. They are in the process of expanding the trail to other villages and beyond.
The land between the seven villages is mostly owned by the Amana Society, Inc. This is the original landowner and founder of the Amana Colonies. It is a private corporation made up of about 700 stockholders. While this land is private property, permits to trespass on to portions of it may be obtained by contacting the Amana Society.
Most utility services are provided by the Amana Society Service Company. They are located in the village of Amana.
The Amana Colonies are a very unique, historic area. If you are considering purchasing a home or businesses in the Colonies we suggest you contact the Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors Bureau and the organizations described above.