Tonganoxie struts its stuff at KC show
Chamber’s booth attracts visitors
Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce members are pleased with how much exposure the city received during a recent home, lawn and garden show in Kansas City, Mo.
"I thought we did really well," said Pat Albert, chairman of the chamber. "We visited with an awful lot of people. It was an excellent ambassador for our city."
The chamber sponsored a booth at the Kansas City Home Show and the Kansas City Flower, Lawn and Garden Show. The combined event, which featured nearly 500 exhibits and hundreds of visitors, ran Thursday through Sunday.
The chamber's booth highlighted home construction in the city, and included plat maps showing residential developments in town. In addition, several photographs taken in Tonganoxie by Jim Morey and Lisa Stevens John were displayed.
Chamber members at the booth also handed out copies of last Wednesday's Mirror newspaper and Progress 2000, the special report prepared by The Mirror staff on Tonganoxie and Southern Leavenworth County.
A green lamp post which resembled the new ones along Fourth Street included mileage from Tonganoxie to other cities.
"I think there were a lot of people who didn't realize we were as close to the city as we were and offered all of the things that we do and that we have different types of housing available," Albert said.
Albert said the time and expense of organizing and staffing the booth were well worth it.
"It was the best thing we've ever done," he said.
The chamber membership will decide whether to attend the show next year, he said.
Chris Donnelly, a chamber member who helped hatch the idea of attending the show, said he believes the city will gain some new citizens as a result of the booth.
"It went better than I expected it to go," he said. "It was a success. We had a lot of interest, a lot of people interested in maybe coming out and taking a look."
Chris Eppley, city administrator, worked two three-hour shifts at the show.
"I thought it was an excellent way for us to promote our community," he said. "I think a lot of people were very interested in Tonganoxie. Most people that I talked to did not realize how close we were to Kansas City and Lawrence, and with the four-lane highway what a simple and easy commute it would be. Most people liked the idea of a small town. A lot of people knew a little about the topography of the area and thought it was a pretty part of the state.
"Their big concern was the commute and how far away it was."
To continue to grow, the city must market itself, Eppley said.
"There are a lot of great things about this town that a lot of people don't know about," he said. "We were the only community there promoting the benefits of their town. I thought it was an innovative idea. Hopefully, we can do more of it."