City staff members continue to explore possible futures for the Great Bend Convention Center and, while there are imponderables that continue to be discussed about how the facility will be operated and developed, what is clear is that the taxpayers of Great Bend are going to paying a bill that will be well over the $500,000 that was spent to “give” the center to us.
The other side of that coin, however, is not pleasant to consider.
We have a very professional business in this community that is perfectly equipped to reduce that convention center to a huge vacant lot in a matter of hours. And that would be bad for the community.
It’s true, that the city is going to have to put a good deal of money into updating this facility, but it’s also true that we live in a very different economic reality than existed when it was first built as a private enterprise and the chances of that happening again are slim.
If the city faced starting from scratch to create such a facility to serve this community, this region, this state, the cost would be many times higher than what is going to be paid.
Our investment is going to pay off in the long run and it would be difficult to find tighter fists than the ones that will handle the money on this project.
We’d be in a lot better national condition if the purse strings of our nation were kept as tight as those of this city.
— Chuck Smith