Archive for Friday, May 23, 2014

GOP convention in KC could be potential boon to Lawrence

May 23, 2014


Bob Dole and basketball may be just the prescription for a tired Republican next summer.

Kansas City this week learned that it is among the final four communities still being considered to host the 2016 GOP convention. And the leader of Lawrence's Convention and Visitors Bureau thinks Lawrence could benefit greatly from the event.

"Anytime you have been locked up in a hotel for too long, you are looking to get out and have a fun experience," said Fred Conboy, president and CEO of Destination Management Inc., the umbrella group for the Lawrence CVB. "We can offer that."

Specifically, Conboy thinks the Dole Institute of Politics on Kansas University's West Campus would be a must-see destination for many of the estimated 45,000 Republicans who would be in Kansas City.

"We won't wait to be contacted by Kansas City officials," Conboy said. "We'll reach out to them and put together some proposals of how we can help."

Allen Fieldhouse, the Booth Hall of Athletics, and the coming display of James Naismith's original rules of basketball all could be big attractions as well, Conboy said. He noted that the proposed convention site is the Sprint Center, which is adjacent to the College Basketball Experience, which is expected to highlight that the original rules of basketball are in Lawrence.

"Thousands of people could be immediately exposed to the idea that Lawrence is the cradle of basketball, and they could decide to drive over for a day or more," Conboy said.

Conboy said the area's Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area also may be interesting to convention visitors. Lecompton and the Territorial Capital were deeply tied to many of the debates during the days of Republican icon Abraham Lincoln.

Lawrence also could provide some help with hotel rooms. Kansas City has about 26,000 hotel rooms across the metro area, according to the website of the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau. But only about 3,500 of them are in the downtown area near the Sprint Center. Hotel space has been mentioned as a potential drawback to the Kansas City plan.

With one new hotel under construction in downtown, Lawrence will have about 1,300 hotel rooms when the convention is held next summer. Conboy said a drive in from Lawrence would be as easy as from several other places in the metro area.

Dallas, Denver and Cleveland are the other three cities that have been named as finalists for the convention. The Associated Press reports that Dallas is seen as a leading contender, in part, because of its coalition of wealthy donors, ties to the Bush family and an oil industry that could provide tens of millions of dollars to cover convention expenses.


Bruce Bertsch 4 years ago

Maybe some of the "Blue" of Lawrence will rub off on them. Then it would be good for the entire country.

Mike Ford 4 years ago

hold the convention in Branson instead. That area fits the GOP thinking pattern better.

Julius Nolan 4 years ago

Kansas has too many nutcase republicans already, don't try to bring in any more. Most intelligent Kansans already see the damage brownie has caused.

Scott Burkhart 4 years ago

Name calling is the last resort of a person that has nothing intelligent left to add to a conversation.

Julius Nolan 4 years ago

Not name calling, just providing an accurate description of most Republicans. Did the shoe fit?

Julius Nolan 4 years ago

So, Jim, you just parrot what Scott rants?

Julius Nolan 4 years ago

Scott. somehow your second sentence seems to apply to average GOP nutcase..

Bob Smith 4 years ago

If you are going to be offensive, Skippy, own it.

Julius Nolan 4 years ago

If that was aimed at me, I will own it. Average GOP voter is a pure nutcase.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years ago

It is certainly true that the ones who get in the news are and those are the only ones we hear about, the moderate Republicans are now truly the silent ones and they do need to speak up and act to change things around for their party. I am a Democrat and I hate to see the extremists on either side of the aisle get all the air time while the moderate point of view that those of all parties hold is being discounted and eroded. Open and honest discussion is vital.

James Howlette 4 years ago

I don't agree. I think the average GOP voter is fine, and the smear is unnecessary. I just find it ironic that the two squawking the loudest about it have engaged in similar smears against liberals.

Joe Blackford II 4 years ago

Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MISSOURI

hmmm, someone named Conboy leading legions of Dyed In The Wool Republicans to witness the Resurrection of "trickle down economics" ala Brownback.

How about Pat Roberts guiding fiscal-fanatics & environmentally-concerned Republicans to his Pat Roberts Hall aka Biosecurity Research Institute @ KSU, for an example of < $1billion Federal earmarks? Then, they can walk uphill to Roberts' > $1billion Federal earmark National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). Might give them a reason to return one day with the grandkids to see the EPA Superfund Site!

Kansas Superfund Sites

29th & Mead Ground Water Contamination

57th and North Broadway Streets Site

Ace Services

Arkansas City Dump

Big River Sand Company

Chemical Commodities, Inc . Cherokee County

Doepke Disposal (Holliday)

Former United Zinc & Associated Smelters

Fort Riley

Hydro-Flex Inc.

John's Sludge Pond

Obee Road

Plating, Inc.

Pester Refinery Company

Strother Field Industrial Park

Tri-County Public Airport

Wright Ground Water Contamination

Joe Blackford II 4 years ago

Historical Precedent for Govt. Bio-labs becoming EPA Superfund sites:

Three KSU veterinary Colonels who worked @ the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, MD; are the "skid-greasers" responsible for bringing the NBAF to Kansas.


"The Fort Detrick Area B Ground Water site is part of an active U.S. Army installation operated under the Army Medical Command. Area B was used as a disposal area for chemical, biological, and radiological material from the 1940s until 1970 and has been the primary location of waste management activities for Fort Detrick. An active municipal landfill is located onsite and formerly Area B was used to store explosives and as a waste disposal/test area for research activities."

Bob Smith 4 years ago

The Occupy dudes could get back together and do the public defecation thing again! Won't that be fun?

4 years ago

Why the hell would GOP'ERS want to come to Lawrence? I've only listened to NEGATIVE comments made about our city on FOX TV, and on various right wing radio stations...never have I heard anything positive about us from the GOP. GET REAL! I really do not want to see them here in town. There is a reason why KC would be a good choice for's probably one of the biggest cities outside of those in Texas that has a large percentage of conservatives voting in it. They would probably come to Lawrence to "make fun of us"... and cause just a little bit of trouble of course.

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