The Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau provided an update following and in the midst of some of its winter events at the Finney County Commission meeting Tuesday.
Roxanne Morgan, executive director of the CVB, told the commission that the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Cross Country National Championship Meet, held in Garden City earlier this month, brought in nearly 750 runners and filled over 400 hotel rooms, not including family members.
Due to the meet and other events that weekend, including the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, she said she believed visitors filled all of Garden City’s hotels, as well as some in Liberal.
“That’s regional tourism at its best,” Morgan told the commission.
Morgan updated commissioners on the county’s Rooster Roundup and Million Dollar Bird events, which incentivize hunters to hunt pheasants in Finney and surrounding counties by linking tagged birds to a chance to win cash prizes. This year, the Million Dollar Bird is only available in Finney County, but the Rooster Roundup includes partnerships with Ford, Stevens, Hodgeman, Seward, Grant, Gray and Morton counties. She said the CVB wanted to seek grants in the future to help smaller communities in the area participate.
The contests were being advertised on statewide platforms, including the state hunting guide, and had helped build credibility for the CVB and community, Morgan said. They also helped the county make use of its outdoor facilities in the colder months, she said.
Both contests will run through the pheasant hunting season, which will end Jan. 31. Million Dollar Bird hopefuls must first register with the CVB at www.visitgck.com, Morgan said.
The CVB does general and event-focused marketing for the county on the radio and through other means across the state to promote tourism in the county, Morgan said.
In other business:
• The commission approved the county's final election results. The county's final turnout was 42.45 percent with 8,768 ballots cast. Republican gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach still won the governor's race in the county with 44.8 percent, with Democratic candidate Sen. Laura Kelly taking 36.75 percent and Independent candidate Greg Orman taking 16.71.
• The commission tabled a discussion about expanding the Finney County logo to all departments until they could get solid cost estimates. The proposal called for all county departments to adopt the logo on business cards, stationary, websites, vehicles and other property over time, pulling all county offices under one brand.
• The commission approved the lone $56,954.36 bid from J&M Paint to replace tile flooring in several buildings at the Finney County Fairgrounds with a 3-1 vote, with Bill Clifford the dissenting vote. The commission unanimously approved J&J Drainage Products' $13,834.50 bid for an annual culvert purchase.
• The U.S. Army 6th Cavalry Regiment presented a certificate of appreciation to Finney County Emergency Management, which provided logistical support for a helicopter that took a precautionary landing in a field on Craft Road from Aug. 28 to Aug. 31. The county’s team provided emergency lighting and requested further assistance from Haskell County.
Contact Amber Friend at firstname.lastname@example.org.