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Nebraska tourism guide mistakenly features a Kansas City attraction at Christmas time

This photo of a Christmas tree inside Kansas City’s Union Station inadvertently appeared in the 2018 Nebraska Official State Travel Guide.
This photo of a Christmas tree inside Kansas City’s Union Station inadvertently appeared in the 2018 Nebraska Official State Travel Guide. Nebraska Official State Travel Guide

The 2018 Nebraska Official State Travel Guide shows off Scotts Bluff and Chimney Rock as well as the Henry Doorly Zoo, Carhenge and other fun stuff.

But it also includes a picture of one attraction that has nothing to do with Nebraska.

Right there on page 27 is an uncredited photo looking up at a tall Christmas tree toward the detailed ceiling of what must be an enormous room.

The accompanying copy says: “Must-do event for little adventurers: Come winter, there is no better place to kick off the season than Christmas at Union Station, where you can meet Santa himself by a 40-foot-tall Christmas tree.”

The only problem is that’s not a picture of Omaha’s Union Station. It’s Kansas City’s.

Omaha’s Union Station opened in 1931 with a 60-foot-high ceiling and is now home to the Durham Museum.

Kansas City’s Union Station opened in 1914 with a 95-foot-high ceiling and is now home to Science City Powered by Burns & McDonnell.

Both depots have ornate ceilings but there is no mistaking one for the other.

As part of a restoration project at Union Station, painting specialist Christian Carlson spent the better part of Thursday and Friday nearly 100 feet off the ground, while completing touch-up work on the building's majestic ceilings.

Professional photographer Roy Inman, who often takes images for Union Station Kansas City, noticed the mishap recently while browsing reading material in a waiting room.

“It was a picture of OUR Union Station Christmas tree and part of the multi-colored, Jarvis Hunt-designed ceiling, but the copy blurb implied it was the Omaha station,” Inman emailed to The Star.

Jenn Gjerde, marketing manager for the Nebraska Tourism Commission, said the mistake was a production error.

“This error has been brought to our attention and we’ve notified the producers of the Guide,” she emailed with a smiley emoticon. “The new 2019 Travel Guide will be out in January and there’s not a picture of the KC Union Station in that one.”

A spokesman for Kansas City’s Union Station was diplomatic about the flub.

“Omaha’s Union Station is a beautiful structure, and even more so when decorated for the holidays,” said Michael Tritt. “Both Union Stations have wonderfully adorned ceilings and it’s not hard to imagine a mix-up by the untrained eye, especially when there’s an enormous, decorated holiday tree in the shot. Like Omaha, Kansas City’s Union Station is a major holiday destination. We wish them the very best.”

Nebraska’s tourism department made news in October with the unveiling of the state’s new slogan: “Honestly, it’s not for everyone.” The tongue-in-cheek motto, intended to draw people to the state that ranks 50th in tourism, drew national attention and was hailed as a “marvelously self-deprecating new campaign.”

Omaha Union Station.jpg
Omaha’s Union Station

Matt Campbell has been a news reporter for The Kansas City Star since 1982.


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