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8/30/2006

Old Cowtown Museum

Drovers Mercantile is headed south to Wichita town this weekend for the Age of the Gunfighter at Old Cowtown Museum. The museum makes the perfect setting for the Grand National Final Reenactment & Living History Competition for the American Frontier Reenactment Guild. The event features a wide array of historical interpretations as well as some pretty impressive gunfights. These folks do a bang-up job! 
 
Old Cowtown Museum has been in the news lately. Financially, Old Cowtown is running in the Red. They have one of the finest settings for an Old West town in the country, but most folks don t see the value in our history. The management of the museum has come under fire and have no doubt made some mistakes, but there are several things at play here.  
 
We live in a generation that wants immediate satisfaction with so many of the youth of America planted firmly behind computers and video games. If they are not there the parents have them in 24-7 commitments to sports activities. Gearing attractions to the younger set places any tourist entity in the position of trying to play catch-up from the start.  
 
Promotion, Promotion, Promotion! Some have laid the blame on Old Cowtown and the city convention & visitors bureau for not doing a more effective job of publicizing not only Old Cowtown but other Wichita attractions. That may be a viable criticism but it goes much farther than that. Entities all across the state of Kansas are suffering and have been suffering for many years. The Kansas Travel & Tourism division sadly doesn t have a clue how to promote our state. These people are sitting in Topeka taking salaries to accomplish virtually nothing. They have, in fact, harmed the state. Other state tourism offices are very aware of Kansas. Kansas Travel & Tourism is the everyday joke around the watercooler. 
 
If you want to see Old Cowtown in all its glory you need to travel to Wichita this weekend. Reenactors will fill the streets and buildings giving a fine example of a living history museum. Rumors abound that Old Cowtown is about to be closed. This may be one of the last times to experience the very nice facility that is Old Cowtown Museum. 
So Long, 
The Cowboy 

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