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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Hang out in Harry’s hometown

Courtesy Independence Tourism

Meeting space in President Harry Truman’s hometown runs the gamut from historic to contemporary.

Among the newest meeting venues in Independence, 20 minutes east of Kansas City, is a Drury Inn, which is scheduled to open by early August. The limited-service hotel will have 180 guest rooms, including 24 two-room suites and about 2,500 square feet of meeting space.

The last hotel to open in Independence was a Staybridge Suites in October 2009, according to Trisha Bach, Drury Hotels’ area sales manager.

“Having a Drury in the market is a win/win situation because there will be more sleeping rooms in town,” she said.

Independence has more than 1,400 hotel rooms and 16 heritage attractions, including the Truman Library and the Truman home. The library is a popular meeting and event venue.

The city of 100,000 also has the Independence Events Center, built two years ago. Home to the area’s Central Hockey League team, the nearly 132,000-square-foot events center with 5,800 fixed seats and a 75,000-square-foot arena bowl also hosts concerts and other events. And, it’s being discovered by trade shows.

“We haven’t had too many here yet, but it can take a few years for people to find out about a new place,” said Amanda Wiltse, tourism sales manager for Independence.

Also in its second season is the Truman Trolley, which takes people from the downtown square to historic sites, said Wiltse. With reservations, passengers can ride from Union Station in Kansas City to Independence in the morning and return late in the afternoon.

“The trolley is offered during the summer and is popular,” she said.