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Susie Santo: Wichita offers plenty to see and do

  • Published Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at 11:03 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at 4:09 p.m.

Why Wichita?

Having spent my career in the tourism industry, I understand the importance of a vibrant downtown not only for the quality of life for residents but for its ability to attract visitors.

I was attracted to Wichita because it is a city that is changing, a city that has much to offer and a city with incredibly kind people. I was also thrilled to see the development taking place downtown, and I wanted to be a part of it.

Six months into my role, what surprises me most is the question I am often asked. “Why did you move to Wichita? There’s nothing to do here.”

This makes me smile. From my perspective, there is quite a lot to do. When you stop to think about it, what don’t we have? Sunshine? Wichita averages 225 days of sunshine a year. That’s about the same as Daytona Beach, Fla. Dining? Wichita has more than 1,000 restaurants. Whatever your palate desires, Wichita’s dining delivers. Culture? Wichita has 36 museums, 35 art galleries, 20 live theaters, a symphony, an opera and music theater that rival any major city in the United States.

How about concerts? The Intrust Bank Arena is a world-class venue that attracts some of the biggest names in the music industry. Taylor Swift will be here in August. For an intimate concert experience, the historic Orpheum Theatre offers a wide range of diverse entertainment. Sports? Wichita has professional hockey, baseball, indoor football and indoor soccer teams, as well as outstanding collegiate athletics. Nightlife? Wichita has Old Town, a fun place to meet for dinner or to dance the night away.

Outside activities? Wichita has miles and miles of bike paths. Family activities? Wichita is home to the Sedgwick County Zoo, one of the top zoos in the nation, and the Tanganyika Wildlife Park is right next door in Goddard. Both offer amazing opportunities to view incredible animals up close. Gaming? Wichita is just a few miles from the Kansas Star Casino, which offers Las Vegas-style gaming. Shopping? Wichita has national retailers and local specialty stores to cater to your every need. Lodging? Wichita has more than 8,000 hotel rooms.

When I’ve shared these statistics, people are often surprised at just how much there is to do in Wichita.

So the next time you have friends and family visiting and are wondering what to do, please give us a call, stop by Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau or visit our website at www.gowichita.com. We would be happy to fill you in on all the great things happening in our city each and every day.

Wichita is not only a wonderful city to live in — it is also a wonderful city to visit and to experience.

Susie Santo became president of Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2012. Reach her at 316-265-2800 or ssanto@gowichita.com.

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