Motel recruitment effort could offer big rewards
It's widely accepted that Eudora needs commercial development. Some needs, such as a hardware store, stand out. But few would argue over any retail development that would relieve the property tax burden to local property owners.
Still, some commercial ventures are more desirable than others, as they offer revenue that can be used specifically for economic development.
Evidence of that value can be found in nearby De Soto, where one business provides a unique revenue stream that has financed a number of recent economic development measures. The business is the four-year-old motel overlooking Kansas Highway 10. The business provides that city's transient guest tax dedicated to economic development and tourism. As such, the city has been in the position to hire a professional to direct the Economic Development Council in a shared arrangement with the city's chamber of commerce.
In the last year, the revenue has also been used to pay for a targeted industry study, a housing survey, a branding initiative, and brochures extolling the virtues of the city and providing demographic details of its trade area.
There has been little capital investment in the hotel/motel industry in the travel swoon that followed the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Still, every industry recovers, and few cities would appear to be in a more enviable position than Eudora when the travel industry bounces back.
The city is minutes from a college town that experiences motel shortages during university events. It sits on a major four-lane highway with more traffic than the nearby interstate. It is a short drive on that same four-lane road to the Kansas City metropolitan area and such attractions as the Royals, Chiefs and NASCAR.
With these assets Eudora is probably on the motel industry's radar screen. The local chore would be to identify (and preserve) possible locations and develop a list of candidates to contact. Activity on this end could move Eudora to or near the top of some motel developer's list.