Dodge City is considering using sales tax and revenue bonds, or STAR bonds, to lure more tourists.
The amount of the bonds has not been determined.
The areas targeted for development include the Boot Hill Casino and Resort, and a downtown area that includes Boot Hill Museum and the adjacent area. The two zones would be included in a single district to qualify for STAR bond financing, city officials said.
The Carr Baier Crandall Real Estate Group will act as master developer for the project under a letter that authorizes the Kansas City, Mo., firm to start working on the project while city staffers develop a payment plan.
CBC principal Bill Crandall has worked on other projects financed with STAR Bonds.
Under Kansas’ STAR bond program, cities may issue bonds to finance commercial, entertainment, and tourism projects. The city then uses the sales tax generated by the project to pay off the bonds.
The program allows the city to recapture sales tax dollars that would otherwise go to the state.
The impetus for the Dodge City project is concern that the historic hub of trail drives and legendary marshals is losing $200 million in annual tourism business to nearby cities such as Wichita and Garden City.
Dodge City officials would use the bond financing to develop a commercial/entertainment district featuring big-box retailers in the area surrounding the casino.
The second section of the district could offer a mix of restaurants, small shops, and other attractions, according city planners.