May 12, 2009


Ken Vandruff

Go Wichita Rolls Out the Welcome Mat to Wichita Skeptics

CVB Announces Five Contest Winners

(Wichita, Kan.) Go Wichita today announced the five grand prize winners of "The Search for Wichita Skeptics" contest. A music fan from New York, sushi aficionado from Washington, a Midwest film buff, Kansas nightlife lover and an East coast gardening enthusiast each won a free weekend visit to Wichita and will share their impressions of our city with the world.

Go Wichita will provide travel, entertainment and lodging for the skeptics as they experience the city, and share photos and stories online of their Wichita visits to venues selected based on their unique interests and personalities.

"We're confident we can show each of our winners that Wichita is a city that can fulfill their dining, entertainment and activity desires," said John Rolfe, president and CEO of Go Wichita. "We're going to convert these Wichita skeptics into Wichita believers."

After local residents nominated their friends and family, local judges chose the five winners. Judges included: Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer; Jenn Bates, KWCH sports anchor; long-time KSN anchor, Anita Cochran; Brett Harris of B-98 FM; Mary Beth Jarvis of Koch Industries; Carrie Rengers of The Wichita Eagle; and Meg Sytnick of Amera Travel.

"As the other judges and I reviewed the skeptics nominations, it was inspiring to read about all the Wichita-area residents who want to share our city," Brewer said. "We had planned on giving away three grand prize weekends, but there were so many strong entries that we decided to award four grand prizes and then a fifth grand prize that was a ‘judges' choice'."

Rolfe said he is excited for the skeptics to make their trips, and he believes they will have a positive image of Wichita by the time they fly back home.

"Once our skeptics experience Wichita, they'll be able to share their honest impressions online where thousands of travelers have the opportunity to read about Wichita," Rolfe said. "Those online readers tell their friends, and the word about Wichita's affordability and appeal continues to spread."

Skeptics Contest Winners

  • - James Ahlfs of Bothell, Wash., who was nominated by Rene Campirano of Wichita
  • - Andrea Griesmar of Eldersburg, Md., who was nominated by Tracy Wingate of Wichita
  • - Jeff Bower of Liverpool, N.Y., who was nominated by Jared Brickman of Wichita
  • - Joel Kauffmann of Goshen, Ind., who was nominated by Barth Hague of Newton
  • - Shaunell Mecum of Liberal, Kan., who was nominated by Bryn Mecum of Wichita

Go Wichita's mission is to market the greater Wichita area, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city, county, region and state. To learn more, visit or call 316-265-2800.

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About Visit Wichita

Visit Wichita markets the greater Wichita area as a major convention and tourism destination, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by President and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2013 travel and tourism contributed more than $1 billion in economic impact to the Wichita MSA.