LINDSBORG — Tourism is alive and well in Lindsborg.
"What we're seeing here is the opposite of what is going on in most Kansas towns," said Holly Lofton, director of the Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Despite challenges, Lindsborg has seen a renovation of its buildings, attracted young entrepreneurs and had a number of its businesses being kept up through a succession of owners.
"We're growing. We're seeing a definite turnaround in our downtown from where we were 10 years ago," Lofton said. "Young people are the future of tourism."
On Sept. 30, Lindsborg will be a featured stop on the "Taste of North Central Kansas Road Trip," put on by the Kansas Historical Society and the Kansas Historical Foundation.
"We're excited," said Bobbie Athon, KHS public information officer. "It's going to be a lot of food and fun."
More than 50 people will take a bus to 10 spots in Kansas, including Salina, Rock City, Lincoln and Lindsborg.
"It's a good opportunity for people to appreciate unique things in Kansas," Athon said.
The trip will give travelers a look at history, art, architecture and curiosities around the north central Kansas area.
"We wanted to be able to highlight some of the wonderful places that are listed in the historic register," Athon said. "We'll be providing a lot of context for people on the bus ahead of time."
One reason that Lindsborg was included on the schedule was its reputation for art, Athon said. The bus will make a stop at the Red Barn Studio Museum to learn about artist Lester Raymer.
"We'll also be visiting and learning about Birger Sandzen," Athon noted. "There's a nice progression of artists and seeing how they were influenced by Kansas."
Seeing buildings and artwork is interesting, but Athon said what people appreciate most is the chance to talk with local residents.
"We try to go to different geographical locations in the state and focus on different cultural stories and foods to give our members an appreciation of them," Athon said. "It's nice to be able to get to meet some of the people who share an interest in Kansas history."
Part of Lindsborg’s success can be found in its long history of hospitality.
“Lindsborg has been doing that for a long time,” Lofton said. “We had trainloads of people getting off for Handel’s Messiah.”
Having a legacy of providing entertainment, refreshments and lodging to visitors has served as a foundation upon which the tourism industry in Lindsborg has been built.
“It is very important, and I think we’ve known that for 100 years,” Lofton said. “Day-to-day, a community that’s located on an interstate has a little easier time catching that traffic. We’re four miles off, so we have to be a little more mindful.”
Lofton said Lindsborg has intentionally made itself attractive to such tour groups by being accessible and offering options for parking, eating and lodging.
"We make sure we have the people in a place to provide the things they're interested in," Lofton said. "We want everyone to have a good time while they're here."
The tourism industry provides a continual challenge to the Lindsborg CVB as it strives to reach more and more people to tell them about what the town has to offer.
"We're always evaluating and reworking a plan," Lofton said. "It's definitely work, but it's fun work."
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