Letter to the editor: Better gateway
To the editor:
The proposed KU gateway project with a hotel and convention facility is exciting for the university and the city. The proposal confirms the need for services and facilities. But there is a potentially better location that benefits the city and local businesses.
Beyond the purposes of a meeting, attendees seek something more. I learned as the meeting planner for a national organization with 30,000 members that people want to get out of the hotel to stretch their legs; they partake of nearby restaurants, shops and a store to purchase what was left at home. Massachusetts Street is the perfect entertainment venue with unique merchants and a great selection of dining establishments.
A model to achieve a financial boost for Mass may be found on highly regarded Main Street in Greenville, South Carolina. The hotel occupancy is high for most of the year as it has become a destination. The stretch of stores and restaurants are anchored by hotels at each end of the entertainment area.
Lawrence has the potential to achieve similar greatness with Mass. With a hotel on Sixth Street anchoring the north leg, a hotel and convention center on the northeast corner of Mass and 11th would be the south anchor. Disposable income from outside the city would flow into those businesses from both anchors. Lawrence could become the preferred meeting location in Kansas as it exemplifies a real American Main Street setting.