Home > Departments

About Kansas City, Kansas

While many cities are known for their expanding skylines, action-packed nightlife, and bustling communities, Kansas City, Kansas has all of that incorporated into a small, diverse, and family oriented community. It has some of the big city amenities with a small town down-home appeal.

Kansas City, Kansas is the third largest city in the state of Kansas and is the county seat of Wyandotte County. The city was incorporated in 1886 and for 73 years was governed by a three-member elected Board of Commissioners. In August of 1982, the city held an election and voters approved a change in the form of city government. Under the Charter Ordinance No. 84 the city changed to a seven-member, Mayor-Council-Administrator for of government in April, 1983.

 KCK Seal 


City Hall 1911 

On April 1, 1997, voters unanimously approved to consolidate the governments of the City of Kansas City, Kansas (the “City”) and Wyandotte County, Kansas (the “County”), into one jurisdiction; The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas effective October 1, 1997. The Unified Government, with a 2000 County population of 157,882, covers 155.7 square miles.  Kansas City, Kansas is in an ideal location. Located on the eastern border of the State of Kansas and situated at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers, we’re part of a greater metropolitan area of nearly 2 million people. The bistate region encompasses Kansas City, Missouri, and suburbs on both sides of the state line.

 City Hall
City Hall  1973   

 Unified Government Logo 

 Wyandotte County Courthouse
Wyandotte County Courthouse 

 Success Breeds Success  

Wyandotte County citizens set the stage for today’s economic development successes in 1997 when they overwhelmingly agreed to consolidate the county government and City of Kansas City, Kansas government. The community was suffering from years of economic hardships and decline. Citizens were ready for a rebirth. The new form of government was the beginning of the landmark renaissance in the community.

The fresh political dynamic created by consolidation allowed the community to take new, bold approaches to many issues, including economic development. Soon after the Unified Government was launched, the economic development opportunity of a lifetime landed in Wyandotte County. The Kansas Speedway and Village West developments are the most successful economic developments ever built in the State of Kansas, turning mostly undeveloped land into one of the most popular tourist, shopping  and entertainment attractions in the Midwest.

Village West Logo 

Kansas Speedway Races
 Kansas Speedway 

 Legends sign
The Legends Outlets aVillage West 

 Nebraska Furniture
 Nebraska Furniture Mart 

 Cabelas Kansas City

Village West has 114 businesses, including 28 restaurants. Those businesses employ nearly 5,700 people, jobs which just five years ago did not exist. They generated over $610 million in retail sales in 2009, producing $41 million in local and state sales tax collections. The 2009 real and personal property taxes levied on Village West is just over $11 million. Before the development was built, that same land area produced only $209,000 in annual property taxes. 

Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor waterpark resort, was the first hotel. Other Village West hotels soon followed, including Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Country Inn and Chateau Avalon. Chateau Avalon is a unique hotel where every room is decorated in a different destination theme. It has been acknowledged by Expedia.com as among the top one percent of hotels worldwide. Construction is now underway on an 86-room Best Western Hotel. 

Village West is also the product of innovative financing and groundbreaking economic development approaches. The development is financed in large part by Sales Tax Revenue Bonds (STAR Bonds), in which sales tax revenues generated by the businesses pay the bonds used to build the infrastructure and key components of the development. The taxpayers of Wyandotte County nor the State of Kansas are obligated to pay a dime on the STAR Bonds should a project fail. That obligation rests solely with the investors who purchased the bonds.  

The Village West development has sparked construction of surrounding retail which is not part of the STAR Bond district, including a Wal-Mart Supercenter, Best Buy, Kohl’s Department store, JC Penney, Target, Payless Shoes, National Tire and Battery and Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants. The Plaza at the Speedway development generate sales and property taxes which go to the State of Kansas, Unified Government Schlitterbahn Water Parkand public schools. 

The synergy generated by the Kansas Speedway and Village West is also creating new destination tourism attractions. The Schlitterbahn Vacation Village Resort opened in 2009 and continues to expand. It is slated to be a $750 million water park, retail shopping and dining destination. Nearly $200 million in private funds had been invested before a dime of STAR Bond dollars were even issued. Schlitterbahn is hiring 300 workers for the upcoming summer season. 

Recent successes include a $400 million deal to bring a major expansion of the Cerner Corporation and an 18,000 seat stadium for the Sporting Kansas City Major League Soccer team to Village West and a $386 million Hollywood Casino to Kansas Speedway. 

The Cerner Corporation/Sporting Kansas City project will bring 4,000 new high-paying healthcare technology jobs to the State of Kansas; create several thousand additional jobs connected with the sports stadium and spin-off employment; will help the State meet its goal of becoming a national leader in the healthcare field; will create educational and job opportunities for Wyandotte County students; and brings Kansas its first and only major league sports franchise. 

In addition to the thousands of Cerner and stadium related jobs, as many as 3,000 construction workers will be put to work building the project. Those jobs will be paid prevailing wage and meet strong goals for local, minority and women-owned business participation. 

Construction on the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway took off in April with a formal groundbreaking ceremony. The destination casino Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedwayis being built by Kansas Entertainment, a partnership of Penn National Gaming, International Speedway Corporation and Kansas Speedway.

The $386 million phase one development of Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway includes a 100,000-square-foot casino floor with capacity for 2,300 slot machines and 86 table games, a high-energy lounge and a variety of dining and entertainment options. The casino will overlook turn two of the NASCAR track. Plans include additional phases, which will bring a hotel, expanded gaming space, a spa, convention center and an entertainment retail district. The later phases could bring the total investment to more than half a billion dollars.

"Our community has worked hard for the opportunity to bring casino gaming to Wyandotte County and we are excited to see that opportunity become reality," said Mayor Reardon. "It means thousands of permanent casino jobs and construction jobs and they couldn’t come at a more important time for our community and the region." 

The project is expected to create 1,700 construction jobs and more than 1,000 full time jobs.  The Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway will be another destination venue that will attract millions of new visitors to Wyandotte County and bring significant economic benefits to the State of Kansas.

All of the developments in Village West, including the Cerner office complex, the sports stadium, Schlitterbahn Vacation Village and the Hollywood Casino will pay full property taxes.  

Under the agreement, the Cerner Corporation will begin construction of its 600,000 square foot office complex by the end of 2011. Construction on the sports stadium is underway and will be completed in time for the 2012 Major League Soccer season. 

In addition to the soccer stadium, the proposal includes 18 tournament quality soccer fields in nearby  Wyandotte County Park, designed to attract national soccer tournaments. The $30 million tournament complex will be one of the largest in the Midwest, attracting more than two million athletes, family members and spectators every year to Kansas City. The tournament fields will be built before the end of 2012. The developers will also construct three recreational soccer fields located throughout Wyandotte County for use by local residents.

Regardless of your interests – history, concerts, family fun or dozens of other activities – From Kansas City, Kansas provides access to a huge variety of fun and fascinating attractions. For more information about Kansas City, Kansas, visit the Kansas City, Kansas Chamber of Commerce or  the KCK Convention & Visitors Bureau websites.

French German Italian Portuguese Spanish Russian Dutch Greek Japanese Korean Chinese (simplified) Chinese (traditional)