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Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau

1513 E. Fulton Terrace, Garden City, KS 67846
(800) 789-9803 • (620) 276-0607

About Finney County

In February 1878, James R. Fulton, William D. Fulton and W.D.'s son, L. W. Fulton, arrived at the present site of Garden City.

The land was a loose, sandy loam, and covered with sagebrush and soap weeds and but there were no trees. Main Street ran directly north and south, dividing William D. and James R. Fulton's claims. As soon as they could get building material, they erected two frame houses. William D. Fulton building on his land, on the east side of Main Street, a house one story and a half high, with two rooms on the ground and two rooms above. This was called the Occidental Hotel. William D. Fulton was proprietor. No other houses were built in Garden City until November 1878, when James R. Fulton and L. T. Walker each put up a building. Now you can take a walking tour of some of the original founder's family homes, still standing in Garden City. A fitting tribute to their hard work and dedication in establishing town.

Economic boom
Charles Jesse Jones, later known as "Buffalo" Jones, came to Garden City for an antelope hunt in January 1879. Before Jones returned home, the Fulton brothers procured his services to promote Garden City, and especially in trying to influence the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad to put in a switch station. The railroad agreed to place its station at Garden City. In the spring of 1879, more people began coming to homestead in the area. During the years of 1885-1887, you can still see the the building on the corner of Main and Grant street that he erected of white stone quarried in Kendal,Ks. you may also see his homestead still in its original location at 515 N. 9th St. The United States Land Office also located at Garden City, and people came there to make filings on their land. Lawyers also arrived in Garden City. I. R. Holmes, the agent for the sale of lands of the ATSF, and Holmes's partner, A. C. McKeever, in 1885 sold thousands of acres of railroad and private land.

The streets of Garden City were crowded with horses, wagons, buggies, and ox teams. Long lines of people stood out in the weather awaiting mail at the post office, and there was always a crowd in front of the land office. During the height of the boom the town had nine lumber yards. Lumber was hauled in all directions to build up inland towns, and to improve the nearby homesteads. Thirteen drug stores were in operation. The town had two daily newspapers. Nearly everyone used kerosene lamps, and a few were placed on posts on Main Street. There was no city water works; so all depended on shallow wells, which were strong of alkali. Passenger trains of two and three sections arrived daily, loaded with people, most of who got off at Garden City.

The first issue of "The Garden City Newspaper" appeared April 3, 1879. Three months after the paper was established, the editor stated, "There are now forty buildings in town." When the first telephone line was built, trees were growing on both sides of Main Street. These interfered with the wires, but local residents knew the value of trees in Western Kansas would not allow them to be cut, and the telephone poles were set down the center of the street. The first long distance telephone service from Garden City was a line nine miles (14 km) long built in 1902.

Calendar of Events

Have an event you would like posted here? Let us know about it!

Various Dates Through 2015

GCAP's Industrial Boiler Division Training Courses

GCAP's hands on boiler training division provides education for the industrial steam boiler operator for efficiency, safety, and compliance. For training dates and more information, including on-site training options for your place of business, please scroll to the bottom of the event calendar.

Each Tuesday during February

The 2015 Brown Bag Lunch (and learn!) Series

Have some history with your sandwich! Each Tuesday in February, pack a lunch and join us at noon held in the meeting room of the Finney County Museum, 403 S. Fourth in Finnup Park.

Reservations are not required—for more information, please call 620-272-3664.

Tuesday, Feb 3, 2015 LiveWell Finney County Healthy Community Design Summit

Join us February 3rd for a full day of enthusiasm and information to help build communities that support a healthier, more physically active population and more sustainable and enjoyable lifestyles. Mark Fenton is a public health, planning, and transportation consultant who is trying to help America find its way to more active and more livable cities, towns, and neighborhoods. He works with organizations and communities around the country to build environments, policies, and programs that help to create places where more people walk, bicycle, and take transit more of the time. And it's not just about healthier people. Done well, active community designs lead to economically, environmentally, and socially thriving cities, towns, and rural settings where people of all ages, abilities, and incomes lead long, vibrant lives.

For full details including agenda and registration, click here .
Tuesday, Feb 17, 2015

An Evening at the Museum

Learn about the Garden City Western Railway from our very own Johnetta Hebrlee, museum education coordinator. Part of the An Evening at the Museum lecture series hosted by the Finney County Historical Society, this Lecture is free to the public. Join us for an informative (and entertaining!) night out.

The lecture begins promptly at 7:00 PM, and will be held in the meeting room of the Finney County Museum, 403 S. Fourth in Finnup Park. You are encouraged to bring your dinner (or your supper); the museum staff will provide beverages and dessert.

For more information, please call (620) 272-3664.
Friday, Feb 27 - Sunday March 1, 2015 Garden City Community College Rodeo

Garden City Community College's annual intercollegiate rodeo will get under way February 27, at the Horse Palace indoor arena on the Finney County Fairgrounds.

Tickets will be on sale at the gate.

Men's events at the rodeo will include tie down roping, formerly known as calf roping; steer wrestling, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding. Women's events include barrel racing, goat tying and breakaway roping. Team roping takes place as a co-ed event.

For more information contact GCCC Rodeo Coach Jim Boy Hash at 620-275-3205 or 620-384-6113.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 An Evening at the Museum

Garden City resident Daryl Hopkins is presenting a lecture entitled War Birds . Part of the An Evening at the Museum lecture series hosted by the Finney County Historical Society, this Lecture is free to the public. Join us for an informative (and entertaining!) night out.

The lecture begins promptly at 7:00 PM, and will be held in the meeting room of the Finney County Museum, 403 S. Fourth in Finnup Park. You are encouraged to bring your dinner (or your supper); the museum staff will provide beverages and dessert.

For more information, please call (620) 272-3664.
Tuesday April 21, 2015 An Evening at the Museum

Garden City and Finney County Museum Education Coordinator, Johnetta Hebrlee, presents Local Aviation and Pilot Training during World War II. Part of the An Evening at the Museum lecture series hosted by the Finney County Historical Society, this lecture is free to the public. Join us for an informative (and entertaining!) night out.

The lecture begins promptly at 7:00 PM, and will be held in the meeting room of the Finney County Museum, 403 S. Fourth in Finnup Park. You are encouraged to bring your dinner (or your supper); the museum staff will provide beverages and dessert.

For more information, please call (620) 272-3664.
Monday, April 20 - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 KCAC Women's Golf Championship

Buffalo Dunes Golf Course in Garden City, Kansas will host both the men's and women's Kansas Collegial Athletic Conference (KCAC) Golf Championships in 2015. Buffalo Dunes hosted the inaugural women's championship in 2014, and has hosted five of the last six men's championships, including 2014.

The women will play their 36-hole tournament April 20 - 21.

Team and individual champions will represent the KCAC at the NAIA championship.

Monday, April 27 - Tuesday, April 28, 2015 KCAC Men's Golf Championship

Buffalo Dunes Golf Course in Garden City, Kansas will host the men's Kansas Collegial Athletic Conference (KCAC) Golf Championship in 2015. Buffalo Dunes has hosted five of the last six men's championships, including 2014.

The 54-hole men's tournament will be held April 27-28.

Team and individual champions will represent the KCAC at the NAIA championship.

Various Dates Through 2015

GCAP's Industrial Boiler Division Training Courses

GCAP's hands on boiler training division provides education for the industrial steam boiler operator for efficiency, safety, and compliance. With hands-on training equipment, GCAP has 5 live running systems which are located in the GCAP boiler engine room created to mirror what is traditionally seen in the field. Manufactures of boilers located in the engine room include Superior, Kewanee, and Cleverbrooks. We have 3 high pressure boilers and 2 low pressure boilers. Our spectrum of boiler training is customized from the quick start with no experience to the seasoned operator. www.BoilerLicense.com

Training Dates: Boiler Tech 1

  • February 2-5, 2015 @ GCAP $1,285.00
  • March 2-5, 2015 @ GCAP $1,285.00
  • April 6-9, 2015 @ GCAP $1,285.00
  • June 15-18, 2015 @ GCAP $1,285.00
  • July 6-9, 2015 @ GCAP $1,285.00
  • August 3-6, 2015 @ GCAP $1,285.00
Boiler/Ammonia Boot Camp
  • April 17-24, 2015 @ GCAP $2,685.00

Additional Course Dates | Click here to Register Today | Course Syllabus

On Site Training Available
GCAP is known for traveling the world for training needs. We can come to your facility and train directly off of your equipment. This can save money on traveling expenses to other locations. More Information.

Have an event you would like posted here? Let us know about it!

Frequently asked questions

Need some information or have a question about the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau (FCCVB)? Please check out this list of frequently asked questions.

What is the mission of the FCCVB?

The Mission of the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau (FCCVB) is to attract overnight visitors to Garden City and Finney County for lodging through tourism, marketing, convention sales and public relations while featuring local amenities, attractions and events; thereby enhancing the economic benefit and quality of life in southwest Kansas.

How is the FCCVB structured?

The FCCVB is a stand-alone organization comprised of a staff and a board of directors. The FCCVB board has ten members, six of whom are hoteliers; at-large members make up the other four. While the staff reports to the board of directors, the FCCVB as a whole is accountable to the Finney County Commissioners.

How is the FCCVB funded?

The FCCVB does not receive funds from the county, the city, or any other government agency; instead, we are completely funded by the transient guest tax (also referred to as the bed tax) levied on lodging rentals here in Finney County.

What is the transient guest tax?

The transient guest tax is a tax levied by our local government on lodging rentals for the purpose of financing tourism activities. Finney County is the entity responsible for administering the transient guest tax. Guests renting a room (for not more than 28 days) pay the tax. Businesses with more than two rooms to rent are required to collect the tax.

How do you use your funds?

The state statute regarding the transient guest tax provides us with very clear guidelines as to how we use our funds; attract visitors to Garden City and Holcomb by promoting convention and tourism here in Finney County.

How do visitors and tourism benefit Finney County?

Tourism adds to our local economy in a variety of ways, including hotel and restaurant expenditures and taxes as well as taxes paid on transportation and other goods and services. In addition, tourism has helped to attract outside capital and local investment in our community, especially in construction of new businesses, restaurants, and hotels, which has resulted in the creation of new jobs. New job opportunities attract new citizens to live in the area, which spurs housing starts and the creation of still more new jobs.

In addition, tourism provides approximately $917 in tax relief to each Kansas household each year.

In 2011, 32 million visitors came to Kansas and generated tourism expenditures of $8 Billion. Tourism is the third largest industry in the state, and recent estimates are that one out of every ten Kansans owes his or her job to tourism.

Here in Finney County, the numbers are big too. In 2011, visitors to Garden City and Holcomb spent $124,000,000. This was more than four million more dollars than was spent in Ford County during the same time.

Remember, visitors come to our community seeking good restaurants, nice hotels, and interesting things to do. The same features that attract tourists to Finney County are also those essential to businesses that may be looking to move to our area. They also enhance the quality of life for those of us who live here.

One final note

I encourage everyone to look at our community with new eyes—the eyes of someone who has never been here before. I think you'll be surprised at what you see, terrific attractions and amenities, and friendly people who take the time to welcome visitors to town.

We appreciate everyone who takes the time to visit our website, comes by the office, or calls or emails us with a question or an idea. We hope you feel as we do—that the communities of Garden City and Holcomb are great places to live and work, and that promoting tourism in Finney County is important.

If you did not find the answer to your question, or if you need additional information, please let us know. Contact us via email at cvb@finneycountycvb.com , call us at 620-276-0607 (toll-free is 1-800-879-9803) or come by our office at 1513 East Fulton Terrace here in Garden City.

Kim

Kimberlea Inderlied
Executive Director
Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau

 


 

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