Build on the beauty and bounty of this place.
Getting more of Missouri’s 38 million annual visitors to stop and spend money here is one way to keep local businesses going and community assets growing. Tapping into tourism can help us build and sustain features that locals and visitors both want, such as cultural events and recreational trails. A little tourism boost can help us secure community necessities, too, such as grocery and hardware stores.
We work with west central Missouri to discover what’s possible, and make it happen.
New Growth offers workshops and other support to help communities identify and act on specific tourism needs and opportunities. Destination: Osceola workshops spurred the start of recreational trail development around that Osage River town. Launch Stockton workshops activated planning for a July 2019 arts and music festival with Stockton Lake Dam’s 50th anniversary. They also prompted small but big-deal actions, such as urgent care hours on weekends when tourists are more likely to need attention.
New Growth and partners are exploring regional marketing options to help get local businesses and communities seen. It is especially challenging in today’s smart phone world. Small rural businesses and communities do not generally have the marketing budget needed to keep their online information complete, updated, and rising to the top of search engine results. Even locals have a difficult time finding what they want digitally; no one uses their phone books anymore. It’s time to build a new way for locals and visitors alike to discover all that west central Missouri has to offer.
New Growth is part of a coalition of community leaders and local businesses working to strengthen the region’s economy with recreational trail promotion and development. The effort builds on tremendous assets that west central Missouri has already: The Katy Trail and its Rock Island Spur. The Rock Island runs from near Kansas City across the Katy Trail in Windsor and potentially all the way to the St. Louis area. The objective is to build business for rural communities near these trails and beyond into Warsaw, Hermitage, Osceola, Stockton, El Dorado, Nevada, and other communities with existing and planned trails. It is a regional workforce retention and attraction strategy in addition to tourism; trails are quality-of-life builders. The Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission leads this effort with technical assistance from the National Park Service.