By Kevin Collison
The new Loews Kansas City Convention Hotel scheduled to open April 2 already is beginning to pay off, playing a key role in landing conventions totaling more than 100,000 people over the next eight years.
At its recent Annual Tourism Outlook event, Visit KC reported this year alone, the new 800-room Loews was important in landing the National Baptist Convention in June with 20,000 delegates and the Shriner’s International meeting in July with 11,000 delegates.
“The Loews is a game changer,” said Toni Alexander, Visit KC communications manager.
“It changes our skyline and more importantly our convention package, allowing us to attract new business. As a result we’ve already secured several groups since the initial announcement of the hotel.”
Downtown also has become a more appealing convention and tourism destination thanks to the streetcar and attractions and amenities close to hotels, she said.
The National Baptist Convention running June 22-26 is expected to generate a $14.4 million economic impact and the Shriners event from July 5-9 is expected to yield a $15.6 million payoff to the city economy.
The USA Volleyball 2020 ASICS Show Me National Qualifier which will be held March 28-30 at the Convention Center and Hy-Vee Arena is expected to generate a $16.9 million economic impact with 20,000 attendees.
In upcoming years, the new Loews is being credited by Visit KC with playing a vital role in landing events including the National League of Cities conference in November 2022 with 4,000 attendees;
The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, October 2021, 4,500 attendees; Kubota Tractor Corporation, September 2023, 3,400 attendees, and in the summer of 2028, the African Methodist Episcopal Church will bring 30,000 delegates to downtown.
The Visit KC Tourism Outlook event at the Kauffman Center also honored Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, with its 2020 KC Tourism Icon Award.
In addition to attracting big conventions, the new Loews is holding a “Grand Hire” job fair this week at the Kansas City Convention Center Lobby entrance off 14th Street. The hotel is creating 350 jobs.
Hours of the Grand Hire are today (Thursday) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. More information about Loews jobs can be found here.
Don’t miss any downtown news, sign up for our weekly CityScene KC email review here.