The Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau board on Wednesday approved three requests for upcoming events, two of which will be relatively new to the city, and reviewed the economic impact of summer events.

The Leadership Kansas stop, Beef Empire Days PRCA Rodeo and events, third annual Midget Round-up and Jungle Run Car Show garnered $956,253 in economic impact, with $80,000 in sales tax, said Roxanne Morgan, executive director of the CVB.

Upcoming events, particularly the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Men and Women’s Cross Country National Championships in November, are expected to bring business to the community, particularly local hotels.

The NJCAA cross country event and banquet, spanning Nov. 9 and 10, will bring in approximately 640 runners, plus coaches, parents and supporters, Morgan said, which appeared to be bringing business to all the city’s hotels. Melissa Sowers, director of sales and event planning at the CVB, said some teams were driving in Thursday and Friday.

The early weeks of November are booked with events, including the Million Dollar Bird Kick-Off Party at Samy’s Spirits and Steakhouse on Nov. 9, the Marine Corps Birthday Ball on Nov. 10 at the Clarion Inn and the Garden City Family YMCA's Turkey Shootout Racquetball Tournament from Nov. 16 through 18.

The board unanimously approved requests for three upcoming events, including $2,000 for two Southwest Kansas legislative events, $2,200 for Dancers of the Midwest and $3,500 for the Kansas State High School Acitivties Association State Debate contest.

The Dancers of the Midwest, a 10-hour dance competition until recently held in Dodge City, will come to Clifford Hope Auditorium on Jan. 26, bringing in likely over 700 in attendance from across the state and Colorado to watch up to 160 dance routines, Sowers said. Many competitors and supporters likely would stay the night at local hotels the nights before and after the competition, she said, adding that the event currently anticipated about 150 overnight visitors, though Morgan said the number was likely a conservative estimate.

Sowers said the event organizer, originally from Holcomb, wanted to establish, keep and grow the event in Garden City with local support, hopefully making it a two-day event in coming years. The $2,200 request would pay for the event’s trophies and awards.

The Kansas state high school 5A and 6A State Debate event will return to Garden City after almost 20 years on Jan. 11and 12, Sowers said, and will bring in over 700 students and coaches from across the state, as well as parents and supporters. She said the event likely would generate over 400 hotel room nights and attract over 1,000 visitors, 800 of whom would come from over 100 miles away. Teams would stay in town at least three nights, some possibly four, she said, and the event could bring in approximately $118,000 from hotel stays alone.

Morgan also discussed two upcoming events for southwest Kansas legislators, which, besides bringing visitors to town, gave the bureau a chance to communicate directly with their representatives and advocate for the area’s tourism.

“It always has great representation. It’s a good time to be in front of our legislators,” Morgan said. “I think this year is more important. It’s been a long time. Things are going to change this year just simply because the governor changes. So, I think being a part of that legislative voice and not only addressing what’s good for tourism, but what’s good for southwest Kansas. This is our opportunity to be the lead in that.”


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