By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT
After promoting Hays as a destination for approximately 28 years, the director of the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau is retiring.
Jana Jordan has had the position since November 1987. Her last day at work will be Sept. 26.
Meeting the retirement criteria shaped her decision. Jordan plans to take a few months off before seeking other opportunities to be involved in the community.
The director praised Hays as an attractive location.
"I do believe it's a really nice community, and one that not only people want to visit, but people would like to live in," she said. "I have enjoyed every minute of it."
Cleanliness, low crime rates, passionate residents and a progressive attitude are the city's top qualities, she said. Fort Hays State University, Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Ellis County Historical Society and Historic Fort Hays are among the top draws.
"I've never been embarrassed to promote Hays to folks because I think it's got the whole bill of goods," Jordan said.
She hopes the Core2Campus plan with FHSU can be fulfilled to strengthen the relationship between students and community members. The partnership would link a path from downtown Hays to the university and include a pavilion.
"I think that without the university ... I think we'd just be another little town along I-70," Jordan said. "I don't think that we would have grown as we have."
The downtown district has seen "drastic change" with its revitalization and is the envy of many Kansas communities, she said. Its diverse retail, restaurants and art opportunities make it a well-rounded attraction.
Jordan's replacement has not been named. The director said a new perspective in her office suits Hays.
"You know, 28 years, it's time for the community to see somebody new come in," she said.
Jordan said she was proud the city was able to build the Hays Welcome Center and house the CVB, Hays Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Hays Development Corp. and Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development. The groups have been able to collaborate and attract people to Hays.