Mulvane wants to fill empty storefronts in its downtown

Mulvane would like to invite business owners to visit, look around and, maybe, stay a while.

The town has about a half-dozen empty storefronts on its two block-long business district, and a local citizens committee is trying to get those filled.

The Mulvane Downtown Retail Diversity Team is holding an event, 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 26, starting at the Carson Bank on Main Street. The event is aimed at business owners or prospective business owners.

The idea, said team member Charlie Cadwell, is to show people what’s available. The town has grown to about 6,100 residents, but its residents often drive to Derby or beyond to shop and dine.

“It’s a small, friendly community, and we’ve got more people coming through,” Cadwell said. “We’ve got some traffic from the casino and some new businesses that have started in the last two or three years.

“But we wanted a little more vibrant downtown.”

There will be representatives from the U.S. Small Business Development Administration, Sumner County Economic Development, South Central Kansas Economic Development District and locals to hold a panel discussion and host a walking tour of the town.

City Administrator Kent Hixson said that having the Kansas Star casino within the city boundaries, even though it is four miles away, may have provided tax base, but it hasn’t solved the problem of providing many of the services that people want.

“You don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” he said. “It’s four miles west. It’s a great corporate neighbor, but that’s west Mulvane. This is east Mulvane.”

Reach Dan Voorhis at 316-268-6577 or Follow him on Twitter: @danvoorhis.