Our Western Heritage

Our Western Heritage
Front Street, Dodge City, circa 1879

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Questions Answered...

Some folks already have questions which we are happy to answer as follows:

1) Isn't it true that Riders in the Sky coming to Dodge City is just a possibility - that we are only hoping we can attract them? There is a big difference between wanting them to use the Dodge Theater as a home base and having them actually do so!

Glad you asked. The group toured the Dodge Theater on January 12th. They were already excited about the possibility even before they got here. Too Slim (their bass player) sat in a theater seat and commented, "This feels like home"! In fact, they have committed and will start planning their shows in Dodge City as soon as (and if!) the Heritage Development Group is brought under contract. It is, for all intents and purposes, a "done deal".

2) I thought the Special Events Center was supposed to be a "quality of life" addition for the town. That it is expected to lose money. Tourism isn't a quality of life issue. Wasn't this all decided long ago? Why are we going through all of this mess again?

An interesting question. If, as you say, this was "decided long ago", then it must have been done in some smoke filled back room somewhere in violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act. This is not to say it isn't true, just that if it is, we should all be storming certain governing groups with pitchforks for cutting us out of the decision process in violation of the law. Let's take a look at this...

We (and every community that has experienced a tourism upswing) strongly disagree about the idea that tourism isn't a quality of life issue. Tourism brings money. Money brings prosperity. Prosperity improves your quality of life. Hence, any facility we build which promises to pay for itself and attract new money into the community IS a quality of life issue.
We want to ask you why you would be satisfied with a Special Event Center that gobbles up your tax money when, if we are careful about it, we can have one that actually brings economic prosperity to the community? Why does anyone think that we can only have one or the other, but not both?

3) Who are you? Who are the people involved with this blog?

We are a group of concerned citizens who are doing our level best to keep our leaders informed - to keep them from making poor decisions solely because they are uninformed.

Thank you for your questions and please keep them coming!! We are anxious to make sure that all Dodge City and Ford County residents have good, solid information on this multimillion dollar project in our community. People with good information make good decisions for the future!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Chance to Make a Difference!!

Well, by now many of you know that we have a terrific opportunity to capitalize upon our western heritage and inject new life into our economy. Two proposals have been made to the Community Facilities Advisory Board (CFAB) for our new special events center. For the near future, you can expect to read a lot more about the proposals, but we encourage everyone to actively participate in the selection process by providing your ideas (positive ones, please - no counterproductive griping!) to the members of the CFAB and our City and County Commissioners.

Here's how we see the comparison at the moment and we stress that all of this is subject to change as both proposals will be modified over time.

At present we feel that the Heritage Development Group (HDG) presents the best plan for taking advantage of our western heritage, economic viability, event center usage, national & international marketing, and bringing "new" money into town rather than recirculating local money.

There. We've said it. Unless the Global Entertainment Corporation (GEC) extensively modifies it's proposal to include the items above, we will strongly support the HDG proposal.

One of the "cappers" for the HDG's proposal for us is its concept of integrating with existing tourism attractions in Dodge City, including the Boot Hill Museum. Everyone should be aware that their first act (if we approve their proposal) will be to bring the great group "Riders in the Sky" to Dodge City on a near permanent basis. When this group was in Dodge City on January 12th, they visited the Dodge Theater and were blown away by the opportunity that building promises. Their idea is to make Dodge City a sort of home base for "Riders in the Sky". HDG plans to renovate and reopen the Dodge Theater as a home for the group where they are already putting together a live recording from Dodge City as well as a venue for their regular radio shows (National Public Radio series) "Riders Radio Theater".

This is exactly the way Branson, MO got their start. What kind of fools would we have to be to turn down this offer!