The Kansas City Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc (KCK CVB) celebrated another successful year at its annual Tourism Celebration on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The luncheon was held at the American Royal Complex, 1701 American Royal Court, Kansas City, MO. Approximately 175 people attended, including elected officials and tourism industry professionals. The program included an update on the future American Royal location in Kansas City, KS by Dr. Jackie McClaskey, President of New Campus Development for the American Royal Association. Four awards were presented to the following tourism advocates and organizations:
The Excellence in Hospitality Award was awarded to Luther Smith of the Quindaro Underground Railroad Museum. The award, chosen by the KCK CVB staff, recognized Luther for his support and partnership with the CVB, as well as his professionalism, hospitality and exceptional customer service to all visitors. Luther also represents the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area and is passionate about promoting the Northeast area of Kansas City, KS.
The Tourism Event of the Year Award was presented to the National Wheelchair Softball Association World Series that was held on August 8-11, 2018. The event was held in the parking lots of the T-Bones Stadium and Children’s Mercy Park. Eighteen teams from all over the United States participated including one team from Japan. The event generated over 500 room nights and will be back in Kansas City, KS on August 15-18, 2019. The award was accepted by John Teegarden and Bill Brooks of the National Wheelchair Softball Association.
The Tourism Organization of the Year Award was presented to Lakeside Speedway. Celebrating its 65th year in operation, Lakeside is a 4/10 mile dirt track located at 5615 Wolcott Drive, Kansas City, KS. The family-friendly track is a Kansas City tradition and features weekly racing in USRA Modified, USRA Stock Car, USRA B-Mod, Grand National and Factory Stock as well as special events. The award was accepted by Pete Howey, General Manager of Lakeside Speedway.
The Tourism Advocate of the Year Award was presented to Matt Lawrence for his leadership and contributions to Kansas City, KS tourism. Matt has served as the General Manager of Great Wolf Lodge, the General Manager of Schlitterbahn Waterpark KC and is immediate past chair of the Kansas City Kansas Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors.