Conference officials pen letter to KCMO expressing concern about COVID-19 numbers in city

Posted at 9:08 PM, Aug 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-01 22:41:01-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a letter sent to Kansas City, Missouri, officials, representatives from a conference scheduled in the city for the fall said they were "increasingly concerned about the rapidly rising COVID case load in Kansas City."

According to the letter, the conference is scheduled to bring hundreds of retailers from dozens of states in November.

KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas first tweeted about the letter on Saturday and urged people to get vaccinated in order "to help our convention sector and our economy."

"We have been excited about Kansas City as a fresh venue for our show since the completion of our extensive national search process, which also included the great cities of Reno, Salt Lake City, and Denver," officials said in the letter. "Our search committee was struck by the quality of the Kansas City Convention Center, the walkable and centrally located community that surrounds it, and the friendliness and professionalism of all our new Kansas City friends."

Lucas addressed the letter on Sunday during a concert at Liberty Memorial.

"Our hotels, our convention and tourism folks have been decimated over the last year and a half working with this crisis," Lucas said. "I do not want to see us get to a point where people are not coming to Missouri or not coming to Kansas City."

Officials said members of the conference have been contacting them about the rising cases and low vaccination rates in KCMO.

The letter also asked Lucas' office for increased communication and the latest information regarding COVID-19 cases in the city.

This included strategies KCMO and Missouri would take to increase the number of fully vaccinated adults in Missouri before the conference.

"Any positive information that you can provide on this topic will be shared with them to help calm their concerns and move forward with their travel plans," the official said in the letter.