Impact of Tourism
- Key indicators show that in Ford County, leaders in the community are supporting the importance and growth of tourism in the county.
- Visitors spent $133 million in Ford County, with visitor spending ranking 8th among all counties in the state.
- This spending directly supported 1,162 jobs in Ford County, with overall visitor-supported economic activity supporting more than 1,477 jobs – that is one out of every 12 jobs.
- Tourism in Ford County generated $18.8 million in tax revenues, with $11.3 million accruing to state and local governments.
- Visitor spending is now $12 million higher than it was in 2015.
- The largest two categories of spending are $38 million in recreation and $28.5 million spending with food and beverages.
*Based on 2017 reporting from Tourism Economics, An Oxford Economic Company “The Economic Impact of Tourism in Ford County, Kansas”
Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau’s mission is to promote the area’s resources and assets to meeting planners, group tour operators, travel writers, and prospective leisure travelers to bring convention and travel business to Dodge City. We accomplish this by multiple marketing methods which include operation of the historic trolley, the Dodge City Visitors Center, fulfilling requests from ad placements, numerous marketing plans through several media purchases, trade show presence, travel writer hosting, and many other services. The Convention and Visitors Bureau reports 854 groups coming to Dodge City in 2018, creating a $10 million impact to the community. Staff attended 14 trade shows, promoting Dodge City in various states across the US. Additionally, we served over 44 thousand visitors at the Visitors Center throughout this past year.
The Southwest Chief arrives twice daily in Dodge City, transporting 5,289 passengers in 2018. National Train Day takes place on May 11th 2019.
Boot Hill Casino & Resort
Annually, Boot Hill Casino draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to Dodge City, of which, approximately 90% are from outside of Dodge City. Since inception Boot Hill Casino has directly contributed approximately $101.4 million in tax revenue to the state of Kansas, $9.9 million in tax revenue to the City of Dodge City and Ford County and $2.65 million in contributions to the Mariah Fund.
Boot Hill Distillery
Boot Hill Distillery is housed in the restored, historic Municipal Building on top of Boot Hill. The Distillery features tours on the weekends that educate participants about the history of Dodge City as well as the science behind distillation of spirits. Over 5,000 people from all over the world visit the distillery annually.
Boot Hill Museum
Boot Hill Museum is a recognized destination for people all over the world to come experience Dodge City history in unique ways. Boot Hill Museum is open 362 days per year and features 46 exhibits and a working Long Branch Saloon and Rath General Store. During the summer season, guests can watch the world-famous gunfights and Long
Branch Variety Shows daily. Each year, the museum hosts about 85,000 visitors, of which 95% are from out of state. Approximately 5% of the museum’s guests are international visitors.
Depot Theater Company
The Depot Theater Company offers live dinner theater entertainment year round, drawing 50% of our patrons from within Dodge City and 50% from the greater SW Kansas area resulting in an average annual attendance of nearly 8,000 patrons. In addition to the theater productions which include both adult, high school, and youth productions, the Depot Theater hosts numerous other events including weddings, parties, conferences, corporate meetings, lectures, murder mystery dinners and many fundraising and artistic events.
Dodge City Area Arts Council
The historic Carnegie Library, built in 1907, houses the Dodge City Area Arts Council. Now the Carnegie Art Center, the building showcases local art for sale and features monthly exhibits revealed on the Final Friday of each month. The Carnegie also provides student & adult classes and competition opportunities, including a Kids Summer Art Camp. With its newly refurbished original stained glass windows, the building is also a great venue for small events. The Carnegie received over 6,000 visitors last year.
Dodge City Days
The 10 day Dodge City Days celebration is the second largest festival in Kansas. Around 100,000 individuals attend annually, and the celebration generates approximately three million dollars, which has an economic impact of about nine million dollars on Dodge City.
Dodge City Family YMCA
The mission of the Dodge City Family YMCA is "to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all." In 2018, there were 72,753 member check-ins, 2,367 paid guests and 46,440 total program participants. $119,879.82 was awarded in financial assistance benefiting over 12,000 members and participants in our community!
Dodge City Public Library
Dodge City Public Library provides a comfortable and inviting place to rest while visiting or traveling through Dodge City. Free Wi-Fi and free public access computers allow visitors to contact family, print documents, or take care of other online business. The Dodge City Public Library is now home to the Kansas Heritage Center, providing programs, events, research opportunities and more on Kansas History, and serving over 1,400 visitors in past years. Clean restrooms are open to the public. Travelers may also be entertained by a program or quick browse of a magazine or book.
Dodge City Raceway Park
Dodge City Raceway is operated by Triple T Promotions and is a state-of-the-art dirt racing facility, known as one of the jewels in American dirt track racing. In 2017, 21,144 spectators enjoyed the races which featured over 1,476 cars at DCRP.
Dodge City Sports Commission
Annually the Sports Commission hosts multiple events bringing teams and fans to the community. In 2018 the Commission was host to 1a Division II State Basketball at United Wireless Arena, NAIA Opening Round Softball National Championship, and the Wild West Bowl 6 man State Football Championship. These events brought over 8,000 visitors in for multiple days and generated in excess of $1,000,000 in economic impact for the region
Dodge City Trail of Fame
The Dodge City Trail of Fame provides historic markers throughout the downtown historic district. The Trail also provides living history to thousands of tourists from all over the world who have availed themselves of historic walking tours by Special Deputy US Marshal Charlie Meade.
Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame
The Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame hosted over 4,000 local and out of town visitors from 46 states and 11 foreign countries. The one-room Pleasant Hill School House and the Gunfighters Wax Museum provide additional historic attractions and information for groups and individuals to enjoy while they tour our area.
Legends Park is the premier baseball and softball complex in Southwest Kansas. Annually the facility is host to multiple events that attract teams and fans from across the state and region. In 2018 the complex hosted 12 events with 276 teams competing. More than 33% of those teams came from outside Kansas. In addition, Legends was host to the NJCAA Region VI Softball Championship and was a site for the NAIA Opening Round National Softball Championship.
Long Branch Lagoon
Long Branch Lagoon is the western-themed destination water park featuring commercial class slides, a wave pool, lazy river, children’s play area and more. The Lagoon is a regional attraction drawing daily visitors from across southwest Kansas plus it is an important component of the community’s tourist attractions providing another option to support extended tourist stays. In 2018 the Lagoon attracted over 61,500 visitors.
Main Street Dodge City
In 2018, there has been over $1.3 million in the Downtown Historic District of public and private reinvestment. In addition, the various Main Street events calculated over 630 volunteer hours and brought over 2,500 people to the downtown area.
Mariah Hills Golf Course averages 14,500 rounds per year. All kinds of players from members, public, two college teams and four high school teams use the golf course on a daily basis. The golf course brings in people from all over the state of Kansas as well as neighboring states for company outings, fundraisers, philanthropic events, just for fun tournaments, and competitive tournaments for the Kansas Golf Association, the National Junior College Athletic Association, the Kansas State High School Athletic Association, and others.
Mueller-Schmidt House Museum
The Mueller-Schmidt House (1881) is the only home in Dodge City, where a cattle baron actually lived, and Bat Masterson once danced. The original furnishings from 1881 remain in the 22-inch limestone walled mansion where guided tours are provided free to over 4,000 tourists each summer. In 2017, they received visitors from 43 states and 8 countries.
The Dodge City Roundup PRCA rodeo continues to be the largest event during Dodge City Days and celebrates its 43rdyear in 2019. Nearly 40,000 people come through the gates of the facility each year during 16 days of events, with 30,000 of them attending the PRCA rodeo, and a large percentage from out of town.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary Church at Windthorst
Over 2000 people visit this historical church every year to enjoy the early twentieth century Romanesque Revival architecture and the stunning stained glass windows. Twice a year, the Dodge City Choral Union and Dodge City Symphony join the Dodge City Community College to perform concerts at the church. This country church is located 17 miles east of Dodge City and is open year round.
The Mariah Foundation
Mariah Fund is a Private Foundation that has brought long-term financial resources to Western Kansas specifically for the development of Cultural, Heritage and Tourism projects that draw more visitors to the area. Mariah Fund was created locally and exclusively receives donor contributions from Boot Hill Casino & Resort. As of the close of the 2018 Grant Session, Mariah Fund, since 2010 has funded 149 grant applications - totaling in excess of $1.662 Million - funding projects in 18 Counties of Southwest Kansas. Of those grants, $685,632 has funded Dodge City and Ford County projects that had combined costs of $6.840 Million, equaling 41% of all grants awarded in SW Kansas. Mariah Fund is one of the largest funding organizations in the State of Kansas for regional tourism and heritage projects. The Kansas Department of Commerce estimated that Mariah Fund’s economic impact to Kansas- Statewide, as a result of their project grants made during the period of 2010 through 2014, to be $33,560,555. Using the same criteria, Mariah Fund's local economic impact has now been excess of $80 Million to the Southwest Kansas Region over the last 8-years.
Tournament of Champions
The “TOC” tournament began in 1944. It is the longest running boys’ invitational basketball tournament west of the Mississippi and brings fans from all over the state of Kansas each January.
United Wireless Arena and Boot Hill Casino & Resort Conference Center
The United Wireless Arena and the Boot Hill Casino and Resort Conference Center hosted over 270 events to almost 79,000 guests in 2018. They offer a wide range of entertainment including concerts, family shows, sporting events, ice skating, trade shows, seminars, conferences, and wedding receptions. UWA was a 2018 Prime Site Award Winner from Facilities and Event Management Magazine. Winning this award demonstrates the ability to please both incoming acts and patrons on multiple levels. 2019 is gearing up to be a full year of exciting and fun events!
Western State Bank Expo Center
The Western State Bank Expo Center offers 90,000 sq. feet of inside exhibit space, over 76,000 sq. feet of dirt floor plus 1 million sq. feet of outside exhibit space. Trade shows, farm shows, meetings, banquets, rodeos, and athletic events are just a few of the many activities held at the Expo Center and enjoyed by over 70,000 individuals annually.
Young Guns Timed Event Extravaganza
Young Guns is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the western lifestyle in our youth and families. We host a youth rodeo event at the Western State Bank Expo 5 weekends from November to February. In the 2017-2018 season, there were 191 members from 5 states including Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and Nebraska. At the finals banquet on February 18, 2018, there were 585 contestants and guests.
Wright Park Zoo
The Wright Park Zoo attracted over 57,500 visitors last year including local and area students, as well as school children from other states. Most of the visitors are not limited to just Dodge City and surrounding communities but are also from other parts of the state as well as the occasional national traveler.
The 3i SHOW is a salute to Industry, Implements, and Irrigation. Organized and managed by the Western Kansas Manufacturers Association, the 3i SHOW provides an opportunity for exhibitors from all over the world to showcase their agri-business products and services.
National Tourism Week Activities
National Travel &Tourism Dodge City Trivia
May 5- 11
Answer the trivia questions to be entered for a drawing, ($150 value for 1st Prize;$75 Value for 2nd Prize; $50 value for 3rd Prize). Answer sheets can be turned in to the Dodge City Visitors Information Center at 400 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd. by 5 PM May 10th or at the Santa Fe Depot Complex, 201 E. Wyatt Earp Blvd. by May 11th 2:00 PM. Winners will be drawn during the National Train Day Celebration on May 11th at 2:30 PM at the Santa Fe Depot Complex. Forms can be found at visitdodgecity.org or on our the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau Facebook page starting May 5th. A printed version is available May 6th at the Visitors Information Center.
Boot Hill Museum
Stroll down the boardwalk and learn the stories of a time gone by. Plant your feet atop of the original Boot Hill Cemetery located in the heart of modern-day Dodge City. Enjoy dozens of fantastic exhibits and displays showcasing Dodge City’s colorful history at Boot Hill Museum.
Boot Hill Casino and Resort
Try your luck at hitting it big on some of the hottest slots in Kansas.
Santa Fe Depot Theater Company
May 5, 12:00 PM -4 PM
Nick and Jenna, are thrown together in this hilarious tale of two angels in training sent back to earth to help Dave, who is having cold feet on his wedding day.
May 5, 5:55 PM -8:30 PM
5x5 art canvases designed by area artists are sold through a silent auction. Proceeds benefit the Depot Theater. 5 hors d'oeuvres served. The cash bar will have wines and beer with 5 specialty drinks
Chamber Coffee at the Visitor Center
May 7, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Join us as we observe National Travel and Tourism Week with snacks and beverages.
Free Historic Trolley Tours will also be available at 9:30 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:00 PM.
Ford County Suicide Prevention Annual Walk/Run
May 9, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Dodge City Civic Center 2110 First Ave.
Check in on race day will open at 6:30 PM. The race will start at 7:00 PM. Entry Fees for registration, if received by April 26, will be $25, with a guaranteed t-shirt. Registrations received after the 26th of April, will be $30. It is $50 for families of three or more and will include 4 t-shirts. Come by Family Care Clinic to get the registration forms and to drop them off, or find more information at Ford County Suicide Prevention Annual Walk/Run Facebook page.
United Wireless Arena
Clay Walker- Long Live the Cowboy
May 10, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Free Historic Trolley Tours
May 11, 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and3:30 PM
Hop on the Dodge City Trolley for a trip back to the 1870’s. Visit the original locations of the Longbranch Saloon, Gospel Hill, the “deadline,” Front Street and so much more. Tour Fort Dodge, follow the path of the Santa Fe Trail and learn a few colorful stories along the way.
National Train Day
May 11, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
OPEN HOUSE AT THE SANTA FE DEPOT COMPLEX
Tour the Historic Depot, and enjoy refreshments while you learn about the historic building and Theater.
Carnegie Center for the Arts
Honoring Mommy Painting Class
May 11, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM
In honor of the hard working Mom’s, we will be offering a class to paint a picture for Mom or with Mom. The class is open to Moms, Dads, Aunts, Uncle’s, Cousins, or anyone wanting to paint a picture as a gift for MOTHERS DAY. Register by calling the Carnegie at 620-225-6388
Santa Fe Depot Theater Company
Teatro en Espanol
May 11, 6:00 PM, 8:00 PM
Directly from Mexico, and for the first time in Dodge City- A Punto de Turron! Come and enjoy the performing arts in Spanish.
For more information about all there is to see and do,
visit the tourism website at www.visitdodgecity.org
or call 1-800-OLD-WEST