Even before Wade Davis unfurled that final, 12th-inning bolt of lighting for the last strikeout in the final game of the 2015 World Series, Kansas City’s reputation as a winner was sealed.
Not just on the baseball field, mind you: The region had plenty of success stories to celebrate in 2015, and is looking at more again this year. The cherry on that sundae, of course, was the national television exposure the city received—for the second straight year—on its way to the championship series and a five-game punishment of the New York Mets.
As America would come to understand, things really are up to date in Kansas City. And this 2016-2017 issue of Destination Kansas City will spell out for you, in rich detail, just what’s been going on in recent years, how that impacts business conditions and quality of life factors, what’s changing with our institutional assets like schools, hospitals and entertainment venues–—in sum, every aspect of what’s driving progress here.
You’ll also find a trove of data on the pinnacle companies that drive the regional economy, statistics that describe in detail how the region overall and each of its counties is changing in key metric areas, and hugely useful information about the leadership of key organizations in both business and economic development.
We do this because we believe that the story of Kasnas City at this point in the 21st century is one that needs to be told, again and again. It’s one thing to be a great city; it’s another to make sure the world knows the source of your greatness. And we say that without boasting.
A great many factors have come together to make this a great place to work, play, live, raise a family—and own or operate a business. The costs here are low, the opportunities large. We draw strength from a vibrant arts community, first-rate health-care services, strong public and private schools and universities, and a quality of life that’s hard to beat. And in a shared entrepreneurial spirit that many of us can trace back four or five generations.
Even today, a sense of opportunity pervades the area. Among the reasons for that is a global economy that puts a premium on logistics. We are, after all, sitting in the dead center of the biggest, wealthiest consumer market on the planet. Other factors are the emerging information-technology and life-sciences sectors that hint of new possibilities new industries, even—and where they can take us.
Our cultural and entertainment amenities have expanded, as well. We now take a back seat to no community in the nation with the appeal of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. That glittering facility joined a respectable list of improvements that have brought new life to Downtown Kansas City—an entertainment district covering nine square
blocks, a new sports arena/concert venue, and, at a more organic level, boutique galleries and venues for music and theater, retail shops and restaurants.
Residents have returned to the core; the next great goal is to fill the office spaces during the workday, just as we’re filling barstools and booths at dusk.
As a community, Kansas City has come a long way. And yes, it has a way to go—what city doesn’t? But wherever you are, if you’re going to be a part of such a journey, it’s nice to be in a city where the living is easy—even if the baseball titles are a little harder to come by.