PITTSBURG, Kan. – A variety of first-class facilities and entertainment venues throughout Crawford County and on campus at Pittsburg State University have allowed the region to host countless large-scale sporting events, community celebrations, and meetings. However, due to the lack of a large scale, flexible conference space connected to a hotel, Crawford County has also missed out on the opportunity to host many state-wide and regional events.
That may change in the future.
Earlier this year, the Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Pittsburg partnered together to engage Hunden Strategic Partners (HSP) to conduct a feasibility study to determine if there is a need for conference center within our community. The study would also evaluate the ideal facility size, location, and economic impact to the region.
In October 2020, HSP released its findings.
HSP’s research found numerous venues geared towards weddings and banquet-style events in Crawford County, but the lack of a purpose-built facility with more than 10,000 square feet of flexible space capable of hosting larger events was lacking. Despite some smaller venues within the region, as well as much larger facilities within a few hours drive, the study found a need for a multi-purpose event space geared towards hosting conferences of 500 to 1,000 attendees.
“There’s a big hole,” said Rob Hunden, president and CEO of HSP. “Crawford County doesn’t really have sort of the traditional larger ballroom that’s divisible with breakout meeting rooms and a full catering kitchen.”
HSP recommended a facility with 20,000 square feet of function space that could easily be converted from a grand ballroom to smaller, reconfigurable, meeting spaces for professional functions. To attract professional functions, HSP said the facility must have flexible breakout space and meeting rooms, state of the art technology, and a walkable environment with sufficient hotel rooms and restaurant options.
Multiple locations within Pittsburg were evaluated: at the north end of town near several hotels, Downtown Pittsburg, at the south end of town near a new hotel and the local mall, and south of Pittsburg at a casino.
After evaluating each potential site, HSP recommended Kansas Crossing Casino as being the most beneficial for meeting planners due to its already existing support facilities, including a hotel and restaurant, its access to several highways, the attraction of the casino and live entertainment, as well as potential growth options and available space surrounding the property.
Download the complete feasibility study
In The News
Riley, Jonathan. “City consultant suggests building a conference center at Kansas Crossing.” Pittsburg Morning Sun. Posted October 16, 2020.