The Garden City Telegram
6/13/2014
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Events effort: Discussions help community develop new possibilities

Already home to many great events and attractions, Garden City and Finney County still have room to grow in that regard.

With new retail and entertainment options popping up, some might think it's OK to sit back and let the positive energy power the community on its own.

Rather, it's a time to seize the opportunity to achieve more progress.

With that in mind, it was good to see representatives of local arts organizations, economic development, tourism and government meet to toss around ideas for state grants and other ways to pursue new events that bring people to town.

The meeting also was a way to encourage the various entities to utilize their collective strengths. Plus, such exchanges can raise the level of public discourse, and help local residents better understand what options exist if they have a new event in mind.

That's key at a time some citizens and groups have reported challenges surrounding resources for developing new events and activities. One missed opportunity mentioned at the recent meeting involved bringing the Royal Shakespeare Company to Garden City for a series of productions, an interesting possibility that was worthy of consideration.

And, it was more reason to embrace the goal of having arts, tourism, economic development, government and other entities craft strategies to foster new events and attractions, and improve those already here.

Local groups with a stake in economic development — the Chamber, Downtown Vision, Finney County Economic Development Corp., Convention and Visitors Bureau and others — have made strides in enhanced communication and a vow to work together toward the betterment of the community as a whole.

Vetting ideas openly always helps. Through such public brainstorming sessions, the organizations can show the community they're willing to collaborate.

Citizens want to see reasonable investment in events that bring people to town and boost the local economy, and also help improve quality of life for the folks already here.

In a community that should take advantage of the positive momentum — and not rest on its laurels — more public discussion and planning for new possibilities not only make sense, they're essential.