KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Visit KC, the chief hospitality sales and marketing organization for the region, announced today the relocation of its business operations to Spark Kansas City, a collaborative workspace in the heart of the Power & Light District.
Spark KC, a two-story, entrepreneurial community, opened in September at 1475 Walnut inside Two Light Luxury Apartments. With Visit KC’s 10-year lease, almost 54% of space within Spark is now leased to small businesses, creators and innovators.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a dramatic blow to the tourism industry, so Visit KC has used the last several months as an opportunity to enhance its support to the local community and plan strategically for the future, said Visit KC President & CEO Jason Fulvi. Following staffing reductions and the support of grants and other relief aid, the organization looks to begin 2021 on a positive note with a new location and the return of Kansas City Restaurant Week, occurring Jan. 8-17 citywide.
“Today marks an exciting new chapter for Visit KC. In addition to maintaining our dedication to Downtown and its growing entrepreneurial scene, our relocation to Spark will allow Visit KC to right-size our operating footprint and streamline overhead costs so that we may continue our commitment as good stewards of public dollars,” said Fulvi. “We are incredibly grateful to Nick Benjamin and the entire Cordish team for their continued advocacy and support of our organization over the years. The new partnership with Spark will allow us to adapt and grow in the months and years ahead as the hospitality and tourism sectors continue on the road to recovery.”
Since 2015, the group’s headquarters have been housed at 1321 Baltimore Avenue, a space also leased by the Power & Light District. While its business offices relocate to Spark immediately, work has also begun to secure a new, more prominent location for a visitor information center within the Power & Light District on Main Street, allowing the organization to engage with the public once safety and health protocols allow.
The Power & Light District is experiencing tremendous growth, in both residential and office leasing. The addition of Spark KC inside Two Light has provided the District with another attractive asset to bring residents and workforce to Downtown.
“2020 has been an extremely challenging year for downtown on many fronts, but nonetheless there are many reasons for optimism as we turn the page to 2021,” said Nick Benjamin, Executive Director for the Kansas City Power & Light District. “Among those reasons are the continued success of One Light and Two Light throughout the pandemic as well as the fantastic start Spark KC has gotten off to. Having Visit KC as an anchor tenant will only add fuel to Spark’s early success, and we couldn’t be happier to be continuing what has been a long lasting, multi-faceted and successful partnership with Visit KC.”
Visit KC joins the Spark community of entrepreneurs and small businesses made up of various industries including home automation, health & wellness, marketing, healthcare information technology and more. A majority of Spark’s members are KC natives, which coincides with Visit KC’s passion and excitement for the city and its growth. The local flair reverberates throughout the space with a variety of artwork either created by Kansas City locals or inspired by Kansas City innovators and creators.
Spark KC is the second collaborative community for Spark Coworking, which launched its inaugural location in the heart of downtown Baltimore, Maryland, in 2016. Spark's community and hospitality focused mission has been key in the growth of the coworking communities in Maryland and Missouri, and it now home to more than 185 small businesses, totaling more than 550 individual members in a diverse community of solo entrepreneurs to midsized startups.
“Providing organizations with community, hospitality and flexibility—pillars that truly allow their teams to work smarter—is at the heart of Spark Coworking's mission of being a catalyst for advancing entrepreneurship," said Shervonne Cherry, Director of Community and Partnerships for Spark Coworking. "Visit KC is a strong economic development driver for the region and a welcoming beacon to new Kansas Citians and KC natives growing their businesses. We are proud to welcome such a dynamic KC organization into the Spark community."
Though Visit KC commences operations in its new space today, the non-profit’s 27-person team continues to maintain a flexible telecommuting work schedule. For more information about the organization and all there is to see and do in Kansas City, go VisitKC.com.
About Visit KC
Headquartered in Downtown Kansas City, Visit KC is the chief hospitality sales and marketing organization for the region. With a mission of igniting global passion for Kansas City, Visit KC collaborates with nearly 1,000 community partners to drive the marketing, sales and service of the destination’s convention and tourism industry—a sector that supported more than 48,000 jobs in 2019. For more information about Kansas City, go to VisitKC.com.
About Spark Kansas City
Spark Coworking are collaborative workspaces for growing tech-startups, creatives, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. As a catalyst for advancing entrepreneurship and technical innovation, Spark aims to provide innovators with community and creative space—allowing them to ignite ideas that transform into successful companies and organizations. Spark offers the unique pairing of hospitality & entrepreneurship by featuring concierge style amenities and multiple floors designed with growing companies in mind; with membership options that range from mailbox memberships and dedicated desks in shared workspaces to private offices and custom-built office suites. Spark launched its flagship location in 2016 within the Baltimore, Maryland, startup ecosystem and has grown to a coworking community of over 150 member companies made of 500+ individual members. Spark's second location, Spark Kansas City launched in 2020 within the Two Light Luxury Apartments in Kansas City, Missouri, and supports the downtown and surrounding business community. For more information, visit https://spark-kc.com
About the Kansas City Power & Light District
Developed by The Cordish Companies, the Kansas City Power & Light District is a vibrant nine-block neighborhood in the heart of downtown Kansas City that is redefining the City from its skyline to its sidewalks. The District links together the Kansas City Convention Center, T-Mobile Center, offices, hotels, entertainment, cultural destinations and residential developments. The combination of entertainment, shopping, nightlife and residential with the District’s imaginative and innovative design, has created an intriguing 24/7 neighborhood. For more information, visit powerandlightdistrict.com or facebook.com/KCPowerLightDistrict.
Note: Visit KC’s mailing address is now 1475 Walnut St., Suite 202, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For partnership or Visitor Center inquiries, please contact Jenny Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org. As of Nov. 17, 2020, access to Spark Kansas City and its tenants is limited to members only—all outside visitors, meetings and tours must be scheduled 24 hours in advance per current CDC guidelines. To learn more, visit sparkcoworking.com/kansas-city.