While one may think of Overland Park, Kansas as the overachieving mega-corporate suburb of Kansas City, exciting things are catching fire there via a massive project bringing new entertainment and cultural options.
Located less than a half-hour from downtown Kansas City, Overland Park is also an option for groups wanting to access all K.C. has to offer, but seeking a less urban environment for their accommodations and sessions.
“Some groups actually prefer to stay locally, but no more than 20 minutes away [from Kansas City],” says Liron BenDor, vice president of marketing for the Overland Park CVB. “They pick Overland Park because they want that quiet area, and don’t need that proximity to Kansas City’s Power & Light District.”
Albeit on a smaller scale than Power & Light, Overland Park is upping its amenities ante with the nearly $450 million Prariefire development, a new museum, entertainment and dining district that will feature the $25 million Museum of Prariefire, a collaboration with New York City’s American Museum of Natural History. Other highlights include Cinetopia, a rentable luxury movie theater offering upscale cuisine, and Pinstripes, a bowling, bocce ball and bistro venue.
“Starting next spring, Prariefire is going to be an amazing attraction, and it’s just a couple of miles from the convention center,” BenDor says. “It will be the only museum in the country that will rotate—every six months—exhibits from the American Museum of Natural History. Groups can have a cocktail reception in the middle of a T. rex exhibition. I think it will change the face of our destination, not only in Overland Park, but in the Midwest.”
The new entertainment district will be the crowning jewel in the well-coiffed corporate setting that is Overland Park.
“When you come here you realize the quality of our hotels, our infrastructure, our landscaping,” BenDor says. “You realize it’s a real healthy corporate environment, and that’s good for all of the groups that come here.”