Housing the Chamber With the Choo Choos

Anyone who lives in Kansas City knows that Union Station has struggled mightily to stay afloat since it reopened its doors a decade ago. I was one of the diehards who did not want to see Union Station demolished after years of decay and neglect. I’ll admit to having an emotional attachment to the place, having spent much time there as a child riding the trains regularly to visit my grandparents and also to “faraway” places like California. We rode the train so often, Union Station felt like a second home. The hustle bustle of travelers and vendors, the clack-clack of hard-soled shoes reverberating off the walls and floors of the cavernous North Waiting Room, the candy carts and shops are permanently etched in my childhood memories.

So, I’ve been reading with a great deal of interest about the Greater Kansas City Chamber’s efforts to relocate to Union Station from its current home in the Commerce Bank Tower on Main. I was happy to read last week that the Chamber Board gave its approval to begin lease negotiations with Union Station.

Union Station is a perfect home for the Chamber. First, we need more people in and out of Union Station on a daily basis. It needs to become more of a business center in addition to an attraction. The Chamber’s presence there will accomplish that, drawing business people from around the city who would visit the Chamber offices for meetings and events.

Second, Union Station is filled with historical significance. If the Chamber makes Union Station its home, it will be a symbolic bridging of Kansas City’s history to its future.

Third, in its heyday, Union Station was a portal to Kansas City. Tens of thousands of passengers passed through Union Station every year. During World War II, a million or so travelers caught what may have been their first glimpse of Kansas City within the walls of Union Station, including half of all military personnel. So, it makes sense that the Chamber, which is often the first place of contact for business visitors to Kansas City, take up residence at Union Station and help to make it a Portal of Kansas City once again.

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About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
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