Oakley Wins Tourism Award

andy lambertNovember 12, 2012
Office of the Secretary1020 S Kansas Ave., Suite 200

Topeka, KS 66612-1327


Inline image 1

Phone: (785) 296-2281

Fax: 785-296-6953


Robin Jennison, Secretary

Sam Brownback, Governor





November 5, 2012


News Media Contact: Jennifer Haugh, 785-296-2281, [email protected]



State Bestows Tourism Awards

Recipients demonstrate the importance of cooperative tourism efforts


TOPEKA, KS – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), Division of Tourism, has announced the recipients of the 2012 Governor’s Tourism Award and the 2012 Tourism Partnership Award.  The awards were presented on Tuesday, October 16, during the 2012 Kansas Tourism Conference in Dodge City.  The conference is co-sponsored by the Travel Industry Association of Kansas.


The recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Tourism Award was the Flint Hills Nature Trail.  The award was accepted by Shirley Meyer, Secretary, and board members Scott Allen and Frank Meyer.  In the past 10 years, over $800,000 in private funding was raised to support over 60 miles of trail that has been constructed and opened.  Hard-working volunteers continue to build and maintain the trail.


Located on the right-of-way of the famous “Colorado Eagle Line: of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, the 154-mile long Flint Hills Nature Trail is the longest trail in Kansas and seventh longest rail-trail in America.  It spans seven counties and covers more than 2,000 acres from Herington to Osawatomie.  The trail traverses a wide variety of natural areas including the Chippewa Hills, the riparian forests of the Marais des Cygnes and Neosho River valley, and the Flint Hills, the largest expanse of tallgrass prairie remaining in the world.  The trail links state and local parks, wildlife areas, waterfalls and wetlands, and shares Kansas’ heritage with those that trek it.


The Governor’s Tourism Award was established in 1983 to recognize Kansans for outstanding contributions to the travel and tourism industry and to encourage others, in the tourisms industry, to strive for excellence in their respective endeavors.  The award is presented annually to an individual or group that demonstrates cooperation, sustainability, and quality in their support of the growth of tourism in Kansas.


The community of Oakley received the 2012 Tourism Partnership Award.  Raelene Keller and Jim and Lori Millensifer accepted the award on behalf of the community.  The people of Oakley demonstrated outstanding enthusiasm and cooperation when they hosted the Inaugural Governor’s Ringneck Classic pheasant hunt last November.  Their dedication focused attention on the tremendous hunting opportunities in Kansas.  Oakley is hosting the event again this year.


The annual Tourism Partnership Award was developed to recognize the importance of collaboration in the successful development of tourism in Kansas.  Kansas tourism efforts would not be successful without the work of many organizations and businesses that step up and partner with the Division of Tourism.


Tourism is the third largest industry in Kansas – one out of nine Kansas workers owes his or her job to tourism.  It has a total economic impact of about $5.46 billion, and annually generates over $960 million in state and local government taxes.  One-half of tourism expenditures in Kansas come from out-of-state visitors.






Ron Kaufman
Director of Information Services/CIO
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200
Topeka, KS  66612






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