Tourism experts: Wichita becoming a ‘sports destination city’

Local

The inaugural Chisholm Trail Marathon is on Sunday, and it’s expected to bring in hundreds of people to Wichita.

More than 900 runners, along with hundreds of spectators, from 37 states, Kenya and Canada.

“Anytime we can bring new people to the city, who haven’t been here before, obviously it’s a positive for our company and the city in general,” said Brian Hargrove, executive director of sports development at Visit Wichita — the city’s convention and visitors bureau.

City officials can’t give an exact number on how the marathon will impact the economy, but Hargrove expects it to have a great impact on the local economy.

“People coming in and spending money at hotels and restaurants and gas and so forth,” he said.

Wichita has hosted several sports events, with many scheduled for the future — tourism experts said the city is becoming a “sports destination city.”

“With the NCAA tournament last year and the huge success of it and the amount of people it brought out — the country saw that,” Hargrove said. “People are realizing that Wichita means business.”

Wichitans should expect more athletic events in the future, according to tourism experts.

“We’ve had different organizations reach out to us and say ‘Hey, this is coming up for bid. Are you guys interested in it?’ Just because they can see the momentum that’s building here in Wichita just for sports,” said Hargrove.

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