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New signs could spruce up GB entrances
New welcome signs fit in to city’s strategic plan
christmas banner pic
A City of Great Bend employee puts up one of the new downtown Christmas banners Thursday afternoon. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

One part of the City of Great Bend’s newly minted three-year strategic plan was to improve the appearance of the community. Although no action has been taken, new signs aimed at meeting this goal are being considered, said Christina Hayes, Convention and Visitors Bureau Director.

“The CVB Board has been assigned the new entrances to our city,” she said as she updated the City Council on the project Monday night.

“We wanted something that looked nice, looked majestic, that was attractive, and put a good face to Great Bend,” she said. So, they started seeking ideas.

With four major entry points, they needed to decide where to begin.

According to traffic counts, the two busiest entrances are those coming in from the east on 10th Street and coming in from the north on US 281. “So it makes the most sense that we would start there and start with two,” Hayes said.

The first sign the board liked was submitted by Jeremy Guthrie from Mark’s Custom Signs in Great Bend and came with a $30,000-plus price tag. Standing 8 feet tall and 22 feet across, and framed by stone on the sides and bottom, it read “Welcome to Great Bend,” and would be lighted.

The design was attractive, but too expensive, Hayes said. She went back to Guthrie.

“I said we need to reduce the cost of this. The public’s not going to like it and it’s not something we have a lot of money for, especially if we keep going and add to the other entrances.”

He reduced the size a little, but kept the same basic design. Still, the prices were too high.

She went back again. “I said we really like the way this sign looks, but there is no way we can pay that; it’s just too high. What can we do?”

So, Guthrie created a third option, similar in appearance, but the signs would be suspended by two stone columns with no stone underneath. It would stand 8 feet and be 19 feet across.

“What we really liked were the prices,” Hayes said. “They went down substantially.”

For the north entrance the cost would be $17,000, and for the east it would be $21,000.

Hayes showed artist renderings of what the signs would look like when installed. “We do like the way it looks and, hopefully, you do too,” she told the council.

But, “ultimately, it’s your decision,” she said. 

Hayes and other city officials will gather more information and bring the matter back up to the council at a later date.

Banners coming to downtown for Christmas


This will be a banner Christmas in downtown Great Bend, Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said.

Starting this holiday season, four different red and blue Yuletide banners will hang from light poles along Main Street and around the Courthouse Square. They will fly from the 40 larger poles at major intersections in the area. 

“We have them; they are in my office,” Hayes said. “We are pretty excited about it.”  

They have such messages as, “Welcome Home for the Holidays,” “Merry Christmas,” “‘Tis the Season” and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Some of the wording is in Spanish as well.

Hayes said they want to work with the Great Bend Recreation Commission to have banners on all the smaller downtown poles, too. But, “that is a project for 2020.”