So this week the kids from Skills USA are here. The city generates millions of dollars when this event takes place. However Skills USA is looking to change citys when their contract is up in 2014 which brings up a serious situation the city has never really had to address until now I guess. That situation is not the lack of hotels as the city wants people to believe. There are more than enough hotels in the city and downtown I’ve noticed not all hotels are part of this Skills USA event. You would think the hotels in the downtown area and I would think Crown Center and maybe even the Westport area would have joined in. Now maybe the distance is thought to be a problem to those who organize the event but hotels is not the problem.
What may be the problem is the city it self. I think events that have called Kansas City home have been waiting to see what the “new revived” downtown would be like. For some conventions held here P&L is cool but in the case of Skills USA those bars don’t mean dick (I’m sorry been watching way too much NYPD Blue tonight). And even though the city and ESPN like bowling teens may not be that enthused, and that along with a college basketball tour by The Sprint Center is all a minor can call “fun”. Now there is again The Plaza, Crown Center and Westport but still bars are what make this city tick. There isn’t even a mall in the area. So if you ask about things to do outside of the water thing at Crown Center (that these teens are way too old for) you’ll be told about Overland Park, Raytown and North Kansas City. Sad to say no public transportation goes outside of the city really. Living here people don’t give it a second thought to travel from downtown to Oak Park Mall or way out to Lee’s Summit for something, but being brought here by a school bus and the only place you can go is where the city buses go. So as much as one billboard put two states, two counties and seven cities make up Kansas City the actual “city” is taking the heat for coming up short. I mean I think those teens from Skills USA would love to go out to Legends in Kansas but again no public transportation goes out there. That area is considered part of Kansas City right? That is a sign of not being big enough to have this event held here.
The city had announced plans on building more hotels and as Mayor Funkhouser addressed more bars won’t be the answer either. From what I heard there was an arcade downtown as well as other things that older people who lived here have good memories of. I even remember hearing about all the stuff that was supposed to be coming down here, yet still besides The Sprint Center and the bars nothing else has even opened up really. So if Skills USA and other convention do pass on KC don’t blame it on hotels, blame it on the lack of preparation to moving up in the big league of cities trying to attract big businesses.