Enid, so nice to have you in Kansas City. (That’s former congresswoman Enid Mickelsen, chairwoman of the 2016 Republican National Convention site selection committee. She and her 30-plus fellow travelers, geographically diverse politicos on the hunt for the perfect convention host city, are visiting our town today through Friday.)
Allow us to mention just a few items pertinent to your visit.
In case the Convention and Visitors Association hasn’t mentioned it in the last five minutes, Kansas City is friendly, polite to a degree unknown elsewhere, truly centrally located, accessible by planes, trains and automobiles, with reasonable air fares from anywhere in the U.S.
Sprint Center, unlike some arenas, isn’t bogged down with athletic team obligations, making it flexible for the GOP’s uncertain date, possibly in early summer 2016.
We have myriad restaurants worthy of East or West Coast acclaim, at prices considerably lower. And KC has a two-state advantage. Why pick one state when you essentially can get two for the price of one here?
And we’re due. The last GOP convention here in 1976 was a barn-burner, a true competitive nominating event. The GOP would be well-served by a city with some experience in providing convention excitement.
You’ll have plenty of GOP brethren nearby: See Sam Brownback in Kansas and the Missouri legislature. But this convention planning is not so much about finding similar thinkers, influencing swing states, or rewarding old friends as it is a pure business decision. And we especially endorse the bottom line of what a Kansas City convention brings to you — an efficient, attractive and value-added operation — and to our metro area — many millions of dollars and lots of press attention.
Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game went off splendidly here. Major League Soccer All-Star festivities did, too.
Enid, we are sure that you will discover that Kansas City represents the surprising exception to flyover country. Virtually every visitor who spends any amount of time driving on our boulevards and enjoying the sight of our fountains says it’s so.
You and your search committee will see the nice hotels, hear about the coming streetcar, be assured that the private buses will work for you and that your thousands of delegates won’t get stranded or stalled. No doubt, you’ll see the Power & Light District and its potential for a good-time crowd event. We recommend getting fingers dirty in our unparallelled barbecue and catching some jazz.
Do make it a point to stop by the National World War I Museum and Liberty Memorial, which in 2016 will be halfway through the four-year commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I. And perhaps you’ll also consider holding events at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the American Jazz Museum and Kauffman Stadium. Picture images of your party’s members in such diverse spots. We see benefits and we’ve got your back.
It’s just too bad you have to push off on Friday before the evening crowds appear during the First Friday art walks in the Crossroads. The Star will even have food trucks at the ready in case anyone happens to miss a flight. We noticed you aren’t due in Denver until Monday.
Why not stick around for the weekend and enjoy more of the town? We hope the city’s charms will leave you wanting more in 2016.