Kansas City civic and business leaders on Wednesday celebrated the city’s best year for hotel bookings since 2008 but also voiced concerns about the negative impact a proposed “religious shield” law would have on tourism and business.
Visit KC, the Kansas City metro area’s convention and tourism marketing agency, held its annual meeting, reporting some highlights from the past year: 24 million visitors to the city, $1.9 billion in tourism and convention industry payroll and $356 million in visitors’ taxes.
Visit KC Chairman Kevin Pistilli also trumpeted the expected growth of hotels in downtown Kansas City, which is projected to gain 2,000 rooms across 10 hotels in the near future.
However, some expressed concerns about the threat to the convention and tourism industry posed by Missouri Senate Joint Resolution 39, which would allow Missouri businesses to refuse to provide goods or services for same-sex marriages.
Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner and Visit KC President and CEO Ronnie Burt were among the leaders to speak out against the measure. Previously, St. Louis business leaders and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry also have voiced disapproval of the proposed resolution.
Read more: Kansas City Star