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Kayak rentals now open
The kayak rental kiosk is operational at Veterans Lake. Users must follow the instructions carefully to avoid incorrect billing when using the app that allows kayak rental.

The kayak rental kiosks are up and running at Veterans Lake and Stone Lake, Convention & Visitors Bureau Director/Community Coordinator Christina Hayes told the Great Bend City Council on Monday.

The City has a partnership with the Great Bend Recreation Commission and there is a local manager to take care of the kiosks. They are accessed using an app on a smartphone and the instructions do have to be followed for accurate billing, Hayes warned. User error led to billing issues last weekend.

“We did have a few little bumps and bruises over the weekend ... but we are making it right,” she said. “We do want to make sure that you know if you use the app you need to follow the directions. What was happening this weekend was user error, meaning they did not follow directions to close up the kayaks and the oars and things correctly.” This led to larger than expected bills and that resulted in complaints, but they will be addressed, Hayes said. “I just want everyone to know that the Rec and the City are interested in making that right and making sure that it works for everyone.”

While there were some negative comments, Hayes shared a “very positive one” from someone who shared a kayaking photo on social medial and posted, “I can’t believe it took over 20 years for Great Bend to bring back the kayaks to Vets. What an inexpensive and wonderful way to enjoy a beautiful day at the park.”

Sunflower Summer - Three Great Bend Attractions Featured

“We do have another big collaboration we’re excited about,” Hayes said in her report to the city council. Three local attractions have been accepted to be part of the Sunflower Summer program offered by Kansas Tourism.

Sunflower Summer offers Kansas families free admission to attractions across the state throughout the summer. This year it runs from May 25 through August 11. Families can download a free app on their smartphone to access the program. Find the download information for Apple or Android phones online at

“I can’t actually tell you which three but there are three local attractions that are officially accepted and signed up,” Hayes told the council. Venue applications closed March 15. “We’ll be announcing soon which three in Great Bend you can go explore. Of course, the idea is to get people from outside to come to Great Bend and explore our attractions that we have featured on that app.”

K-Tags are coming

“Speaking of tourism, the cashless tolls for Kansas Turnpike Authority are coming, so as you travel – to make it easier on you – you need to get a K-Tag,” Hayes said. The tags are free and tolls are billed to the driver’s account. Toll booths are to be removed when the Kansas Turnpike goes cashless in July. Drivers won’t need to stop to pay, but they will need a K-Tag sticker in the windshield.

According to the MyK-Tag Website:

K-Tag is the Kansas Turnpike’s electronic toll collection program. Using a K-Tag gives you the lowest toll rate. Sticker tags are free and there are no monthly administrative fees. With a valid payment method on file (credit, debit or bank account), you will be billed once a month for the tolls you accrue.