Garden City looks forward to growth in 2017

Parrot Cove is one of the most recent additions to Garden City.

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Officials in Garden City and Finney County say that 2016 was a growth year, from new businesses popping up to hosting major golf tournaments.

Now, businesses like Escape the Clock and Parrot Cove Indoor Water Park are helping to act as a magnet for others.

“As part of the community,” said business owner Amro Samy, “it’s going to help bring other businesses into town. And especially for hiring, we’re hoping a lot of our corporate will be able to recruit, something for families to do in Garden City.”

The growth is making Finney County more of a destination for visitors. In 2015, the last year for which data is available, more than a fifth of Finney County’s sales tax revenue came from outside visitors.

Officials expect similar or better results for 2016.

“The fire department is having a convention here that used to be in eastern Kansas,” said Samy. “I know the police department is doing a convention.”

Finney County will also host even more national sporting events than it did this year, like the NJCAA golf championship in May.

“These are the things that are going to get people to look at Garden City and say that’s a place to go to,” said Samy.

To keep up with this growth, the city is investing in its infrastructure, from the widening of Kansas Avenue to a $6.5 million dollar water project that will repair and replace old pipes and set up a water re-use utility.

“Figuring as many times we can reuse that water after we take it out of the ground before we put it back in the ground, that’s beneficial to preserving the Ogallala Aquifer long term,” said Garden City Manager Matt Allen.

It’s a piece of what Samy calls a puzzle, with new and recent projects helping to shape the image of Garden City.

“The shopping that’s available and the water park and the shapes of our golf courses,” he said, “I think we’re on the incline. It’s going to help our community tremendously.”

One area that city officials say they plan to continue to tackle in 2017 is the ongoing housing shortage.