If you need to grab a drink or a bite to eat, chances are you won’t have to go far, no matter where you are in the metro area. That’s probably true, too, if you need to direct someone to a hotel or motel.
The Census Bureau’s Economic Census, conducted every five years, has a category called Accommodation and Food Services, which covers hotels, motels, campgrounds, bars, restaurants (sit-down and fast food), snack bars and caterers.
Looking at its breakdowns for the Kansas City area’s five main counties, each is well stocked with “traveler accommodations.” Of the area’s 269 such locations (nearly all hotels and motels, with an occasional bed-and-breakfast or RV park in the mix), Jackson County has 98 and Johnson County 79.
Wyandotte has by far the fewest, 18, less than one-fourth the Johnson County total, which might seem a little sparse. But bear in mind that Wyandotte is the metro area’s most compact county and its second-least populous behind Platte County. Wyandotte County, per capita, has 80 percent as many lodging locations as Johnson County, and 70 percent as many per square mile.
And speaking of Platte County, it’s the per capita hotel king, with 3.7 lodging locations per 10,000 residents, thanks to its low population and several hotels near Kansas City International Airport. That’s double the rate for the next closest, Clay County, at 1.8.
The numbers are similar for the five-county area’s 3,217 restaurants, bars and other food- and drink-serving businesses. Populous Jackson and Johnson counties top the list, and when figured per 10,000 population, each county is the best served (20 per 10,000 for Jackson and 19.3 for Johnson).
Also of note: Restaurants divide evenly (1,234 to 1,224) between “full service” (1,234) and “limited service” (1,224), better known as fast food.