The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.
Last week, I wrote a letter about some of the tourism tax documents furnished by the Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center (GWACC&VC) under my Sunshine Law request. This week, I’d like to inform the editor about the GWACC&VC’s primary tourism efforts from the last two years; efforts that involved state money under the Division of Tourism’s Cooperative Marketing Program in addition to the room taxes generated locally
The project for the state FY ending 6/30/2000 involved an $8,400 project to produce and distribute a brochure promoting Warrensburg as “the destination of choice” for meals and lodging for Powell Gardens visitors. Distribution was to be contracted through a brochure distribution company along the I-70 corridor and by mail to various tour operators, travel agents, and national botanical clubs. A very pretty brochure was produced and apparently distributed along the I-70 corridor, but I could find no information that indicated they purchased botanical club mailing lists or used direct mail to tour operators. The brochures are not found in the nearest state Tourist Information Center. In addition, they seriously messed up the timelines, so were eligible for only half the state funds requested for distribution.
The project for the state FY ending 6/30/2001 involved spending $16,640 on radio commercials in a single station in each of the Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia and Chillicothe markets. These commercials would promote the Johnson County Fair, calendar of events, Old Drum Days, the model train display and CMSU’s Premier Performances. They managed to spend $14,227 on air time, despite the fact that two of their events (Old Drum Days and the train display) were canceled; the documents provided don’t indicate how the air time was reallocated.
I have placed copies of many of the documents provided by the GWACC&VC at the Warrensburg Branch of the Trails Regional Library. Initial analysis of the financial statements is posted on the web at www.olddrum.net; however, the documents themselves often do not add up.
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