About the time Kansas University football fans start watching the polls, Lawrence tourism leaders may have a poll of their own to brag about.
The Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association announced Thursday that Lawrence has been selected as one of the finalists for the top day trip destination in the area, and Kansas University’s Spencer Museum of Art is a finalist for the favorite art museum or gallery in the Kansas City area.
The winners will be chosen via an online poll taken by users of the association’s Web site, visitkc.com. Voting goes through Aug. 31, and winners will be announced in early September.
“Vote early and vote often,” said Dan Hughes, president of Downtown Lawrence Inc. and an owner of Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop.
Hughes said day trip visitors are an important part of the Lawrence tourism scene. The winners will be prominently highlighted on the visitkc.com Web site.
“Lawrence has a lot to offer with the university and the athletics and the art things that are going on,” Hughes said. “And despite the challenging retail environment, downtown is still a very unique place. We still have lots of people come to us and say ‘places like this don’t exist anymore.’”
Hughes said if Lawrence wins, he hopes the community does a good job of tooting its own horn. Lawrence was chosen as the top day trip destination in last year’s poll, but Hughes was unaware of it.
“It is important to get the recognition, but it also is important to hype it up a little bit and remind people of it,” Hughes said.
Lawrence and the Spencer Museum of Art were both chosen as finalists based on comments the Web site solicited about favorite attractions earlier this year, said Derek Klaus, a spokesman for the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association.
Lawrence is competing against Independence, Mo.; Overland Park; Parkville, Mo.; and Weston, Mo. Spencer is competing against The Dolphin Gallery, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.