This quote was in Carrie Rengers “Have You Heard” blog (a must read if you care about the business climate and what’s going on in Wichita)—
“You have a very low opinion of yourselves, and you’re not afraid to share it.”
— Dave Brandon, a Dallas site-selection consultant
This has bothered me for a couple of weeks and on Thursday night, while visiting with a High School buddy from Dallas, he commented about how “awesome Old Town was”. That got me thinking.
Why do people in Wichita so easily denigrate our great city? I know it is possible that we are just joking and trying to be humble, but really? Do we realize what we have in Wichita? Let me name just a few things that I think give us something to be prideful about:
- Our roads are some of the best in the Midwest. Having lived in Tulsa, OKC, Springfield (Missouri), Lincoln (Nebraska) and Rogers (Arkansas), I have found that not only do our road projects get done on time, they also are done way in advance of handling the road traffic. Tulsa, on the other hand, waits until the roads are so desperately needed, when the projects do get finished, they are near capacity again. Lay off the “Kellogg Project Jokes”!
- The whole East versus West thing. As if the Eastsiders and Westsiders are like the Sneetches from the Dr Seuss book. Take note–you will NOT get cooties from visiting the other side of town. You may find a new friend or shop and have more excuses to use Kellogg!
- Our airport is so small and dinky and the flights are too early and expensive garbage. Sure most of our flights depart before the sun rises (see our Airport Shuttle Service!), but you also get to your destination on the east coast before sunset and can actually get to your hotel early enough to relax instead of arriving just in time to go to sleep. I LOVE that our airport is small enough to be able to get through ticketing, security, and the gate in minutes as opposed to the delays of getting through all of the above in Dallas, Atlanta, or Chicago. And as for cheap flights? I flew six members of my family NONSTOP from Wichita to LA (thanks Allegiant!) for $480 round-trip. Total! With fees and taxes! With a CHECKED bag! so it is possible with a little planning to get a TREMENDOUS deal out of Wichita.
- There is NEVER anything to do in Wichita except watch the wheat grow. WRONG! My buddy was so impressed at the activity in Old Town on a Spring Thursday evening, he said it reminded him of the Dallas Alley or Austin, Texas! And he is right! From the Warren Old Town Grill (A shout out to my wife!) and the clubs and the restaurants, there is something for everyone. With little to no crime, it is safe, too. With the Intrust Bank Arena bringing in the best acts (and HUGE variety from gospel to dinosaurs to Star Wars to Jeff Dunham), it is only getting better. Soon we will have the Ladies NCAA Basketball Tournament and maybe the Men’s Tourney (start your brackets!)… Not to mention Riverfest! And the NBC Tournament!
- Our schools are awesome! From Derby to Goddard to Andover and everywhere in between, we have great kids and top notch sports, choir, and band programs, to name just a few.
- Wichita State! And Newman! And Friends! Attend something! Support our teams!
- Our business community is amazing from aircraft to the entrepreneurial spirit that started great businesses like Pizza Hut and Freddies and Hawker Beechcraft.
I think I could go on but you may already get my point. Wichita is a GREAT place to live and raise a family. It is not bragging or obnoxious if it is true. Let’s stop the self-bashing and start talking up our Wichita. When someone asks you where your from, tell them with pride that “I’m from Wichita, KS! The best secret in America!”. If we take pride in ourselves, others will follow.
When people ask us how our business has taken such a dominant lead in the Luxury Automotive Makret in Wichita, I say it’s about our Scholfield Luxury Experience. Nearly every employee buys into and breathes life into the program. There is no reason why Wichita cannot feel the same way about herself.
Who’s with me?