What's New in Kansas City
From major transportation upgrades to brand new hotels, Kansas City is getting even better. See what's new in the City of Fountains.
Making Headlines in the Heart of America
The City of Fountains is on a winning streak. With attention-grabbing events like the 2023 NFL Draft and the 2026 FIFA World Cup choosing KC to host, the appeal of gathering in KC is greater than ever.
In fact, CNBC recently recognized Kansas City as the world’s best destination for travel and remote work, emphasizing the rich opportunities to blend business and local culture during your stay. It’s why so many convention attendees who travel to KC for the first time find themselves planning a return visit sooner rather than later, with the connections they’ve made during their time in the City of Fountains drawing them back for more.
Authentic, affordable, easy to reach and earning a reputation as a region that can’t be overlooked—it’s the right time for Kansas City.
New Single Terminal at KCI Lands in March 2023
Work continues toward the on-time completion of the new single terminal at KCI Airport, slated to welcome its first travelers in March 2023 in time for the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City. Construction on the project—designed to revolutionize Kansas City’s airport experience upon opening—reached its halfway point in March 2021.
The new, 39-gate terminal at KCI represents a total transformation of the passenger experience for Kansas City’s air travelers. Features such as dedicated arrival and departure levels, covered parking in an adjacent garage, moving walkways and consolidated security checkpoints will offer a modern environment with easy navigation. Upon arriving at the terminal, travelers will be greeted by a vast selection of area restaurants and retail options, with more than 80 percent of businesses representing local brands, plus many more new amenities designed for comfort and convenience.
Public art will have a significant presence in the new terminal, with a total of $5.6 million being invested in works from 28 individual artists. The final 19 artists, all of whom live in the KC area or have local ties, were announced in September 2021. Sculptures, paintings and installations will reflect area history and Kansas City’s cultural cornerstones, from its well-recognized place as a jazz hotbed to its City of Fountains moniker.
Find the latest news on the new KCI experience at buildkci.com.
KC Streetcar Expansion in Progress
In the heart of Downtown Kansas City, another major transportation upgrade will connect convention attendees to more of KC’s neighborhoods, lodging options and entertainment districts. A significant expansion to the KC Streetcar is now underway following a funding announcement earlier this year.
After a total award of $174 million in federal funding secured in January 2021, essential design and infrastructure projects are currently taking place in preparation for the route’s extension. Construction of the expanded Streetcar line is slated to begin in the next several months.
The Main Street extension is scheduled to begin service in 2025 and will add 16 new stops to the KC Streetcar line, offering convenient access to major attractions and institutions including The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Spanish-inspired Country Club Plaza and historic Westport.
The Main Street extension is one of two planned extensions for the Streetcar line, with the Berkley Riverfront extension reaching an additional half mile north to one of Kansas City’s premier green spaces along the Missouri River.
Read more about the Main Street extension at buildkcstreetcar.com.
New Stadium Arriving on KC’s Riverfront
Kansas City’s Berkley Riverfront will soon welcome a new crown jewel in the form of a premier sports and entertainment venue. The Kansas City Current’s ownership group recently announced plans to build an 11,000-seat stadium for the National Women’s Soccer League club—a first for the league and a landmark development in women’s professional sports.
The stadium is slated to welcome its first soccer matches in 2024, minutes away from the heart of Downtown Kansas City and along the KC Streetcar’s planned Berkley Riverfront extension. When it isn’t hosting the Current, the stadium will be made available for concerts and events of all kinds.
Access the stadium announcement here.
Zero-Fare Public Transportation
In another historic step, Kansas City recently became the first major city in America to make its public transportation system entirely fare-free. This means attendees who arrive in the Heart of America will be able to navigate the city via the KC Streetcar and a robust network of bus routes, all at no cost and with no ticket required.
DOWNTOWN HOTEL RENAISSANCE
Steps from the KC Streetcar and in the heart of Downtown Kansas City’s convention district, a series of recent hotel additions and major upgrades offer new amenities and immediate access to the Kansas City Convention Center.
Opened in June 2020, the Loews Kansas City Hotel includes 800 guestrooms, a gleaming lobby bar with floor-to-ceiling views of the KC skyline, a signature restaurant serving upscale Midwestern fare, an indoor lap pool and 60,000 square feet of meeting and event space, all connected directly to the Kansas City Convention Center via enclosed skywalk.
The 144-room Hotel Kansas City opened in Downtown's iconic Kansas City Club building as part of Hyatt's Unbound Collection in October 2020. The hotel's thoughtful design fosters moments of nostalgia, paying homage to the building's history as a prominent 1920s social club and offering a total of more than 20,000 square feet of event space, including multiple ballrooms and a 6,000-square-foot rooftop.
Other recent openings in the Downtown core include the Crossroads Hotel, 21c Museum Hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Home2 Suites, Hotel Indigo - Downtown and Hotel Indigo - Crossroads, with major renovations completed at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, Crowne Plaza Kansas City Downtown, Westin Kansas City at Crown Center, Hilton President, Hotel Phillips and InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza.
Kansas City offers plenty of great places to lay your head, grab a bite or hold a meeting. In fact, the metropolitan area already touts more than 36,000 hotel rooms—with 4,600 committable rooms in the convention core.