Hilton President Hotel Kansas City Diamond Review

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The Hilton President Kansas City is a classic hotel that was built in 1926 during a boom in Kansas City downtown roaring 20’s construction. It was a popular hotel in Kansas City during the Kansas City Mob days, Blues icons played at the famous Drum Room lounge while celebrities watched. As downtown KC struggled through the 1970’s so did the hotel. It finally closed in 1980 and sat vacant until a local business investor group spent over $45 million to restore it and open it as the current Hilton President in 2005. It saw success as downtown KC has gone through a revival. It now sits between the theaters, convention center, Sprint center and KC Power and Light entertainment district. After being open since 2005 it was due for a refresh so they recently spent millions more to update the rooms, add more marble, etc. A lot of historic hotels are cool but this one doesn’t suffer from being outdated. The rooms are fresh and updated. IMG_20170615_165015574IMG_20170615_170317552

The Drum Room Lounge is mostly original. The restaurant is good and a great place for a pre-concert or pre-theater dinner. IMG_20170615_165332449

As a Hilton Diamond I was upgraded on arrival to a corner room overlooking the Power and Light District. The hotel was fairly slow which I’m sure helped. IMG_20170615_165322865_HDRIMG_20170615_165607061IMG_20170615_165613142IMG_20170616_072052271

The only negative thing I can say about this hotel is the motion sensing Verdant thermostat. There is a hack to override it but it’s not an easy hack. The hotel is guilty of not having this set properly for the overnight hours. This is something can be set by the main system. It did go off in the middle of the night and made the room too warm on a hot Summer evening. IMG_20170615_165337663

View of Power and Light District and Sprint Center.IMG_20170615_220143177IMG_20170615_165345906

View to the South of the Kauffman CenterIMG_20170615_215635004IMG_20170615_215541046

Overall it was a nice stay. As a Hilton Diamond they do offer free breakfast in the restaurant. There is also a Starbucks coffee stand in the lobby. Great service from the front desk, restaurant and valet parking staff. I will return here even as a local the next time I need to stay downtown. This AAA four diamond hotel is well worth the visit.

Why MCI (KCI) isn’t my favorite airport

I recently moved back to my home town Kansas City. I grew up in the area. My family is from here so that is sweet. We had been living in St. Louis for the past 16 years so I got used to STL and saw that airport move from TWA to AA and then de-hubbed which is sad.

My memories of MCI (or known locally as KCI) are of the many trips that I or family members took. I remember my Dad filling out an old paper Mutual of Omaha travel insurance application at the airport as my Sister flew off to Europe in High School. I remember picking up my Sister and her Husband at Midnight one New Year’s Eve maybe 20 year ago there. I mostly remember how open the airport was. It was designed to be a TWA hub airport where you could drop off at the door and be just steps away from the gates. Great idea (at the time). Unfortunately 9-11 happened and now the small gates aren’t so open anymore. They have added security checkpoints and you can’t just walk in and out of the gate areas down the long hallways. They took out the AA lounge and many other features.

I will still love “KCI” but it’s a pain now. The gates are jammed packed:

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There’s not enough seating, the restrooms are tiny and it’s just no fun. Like this photo above where you can see into the bar through the big windows but you can’t actually go into the bar. Everyone looks so happy.

Arrival isn’t much better. Although the planes unload the luggage near the gates into the TINY luggage carousels it always seems to take forever. To make it worse they always seem to want to load multiple planes onto the same carousel like most other airports do.

It’s not all bad though and you get used to any airport I guess.  Besides now we have Spirit Airlines ! Which ain’t half bad for a short haul domestic airline with a 35 pound bag limit on checked luggage !

I’m sure Kansas City will spend a ton of money to remodel it one day. I can only hope they would rebuild it further South since it’s so far North out of the city.

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Another little known triva fact about KCI is that it’s near where a famous Bonnie & Clyde shootout took place at the Red Crown Tavern and Tourist Cabins back in the day.

http://www.emissourian.com/news/state/article_94853afa-b316-11e0-ac3e-001cc4c002e0.html

Which reminds me of the Brantley Gilbert video

Review of the 2015 Kansas City RV show

2015 Mid America RV Show   GS Events

So my wife, my 19 year old son and I went to the 2015 KC RV show over the weekend. Not a bad show but I wasn’t overly impressed.

So here are the mistakes I made going to the show:

I left my Good Sam’s card at home by mistake. You’ll want to take this to any RV event. At this one I could have gotten $10 off the admission for our group. It was buy one get one free at $10 a person if you had your Good Sam’s card number. I tried to call them to get the number while waiting in line but was on hold for like 20 minutes. My Son and Wife had enough waiting at this point.

Don’t take your 7 foot tall Diesel pickup to the Bartle Hall / Barney Allis / Municipal Auditorium (Identity crisis) parking garage as it’s is less than 7 foot tall. We got lucky and parked in another garage but we would have waited in line at the garage to only have to get the line of cars to backup and let us back out, Yikes.

So mistakes over we paid $10 each to get in. Up the escalators to a giant room for of about 50 fifth wheel trailer toy hauler models. About 50 regular trailers and “5’ers” that aren’t toy haulers and I’m guessing 20 motor homes.

Lost in the middle was a vendor area that must have had about 30 to 40 vendors. I’d guess 15 are trying to sell me house roofs, house windows and other home improvement junk. Why? Not sure. A few booths had campgrounds and a few RV related items but I was rather disappointed in the vendor offering. A local Ford dealer and RV dealer Olathe Ford had some pickups on display as well. I guess I’m too poor to trade in my 2010 F350 on a new F250 or 350 as they are like $65,000 now.

We toured a bunch of trailers. We have a 2012 model 28 foot Forest River Cherokee that we bought for about $13,000 last year so it was interesting to see the new models of various brands. Latest trends seem to be the open rear porch on the toy hauler models. It also seems that the bunkhouse model trailers continue to get more popular all the time. My youngest son is 19 and 6’5”+ so the bunks don’t interest us much but they would be great for families with little kids. They tend to run a little less than the regular models from my experience.

I liked the 2015 Newmar Dutch Star motor home the best. It’s over $300k but it actually seemed nicer than the $600k for the Londonaire model we saw. I don’t know that I would buy a new one but I could see myself in a nice used Dutch Star at a campground far away. Dreams I guess. If they could just figure out how to get unlimited high speed internet for a normal price I could live on one and continue my current job I think.

We bought some soda and 3 pretzels for $22 and finished up the show. It was kind of crowded but not bad on a Sunday afternoon. I’m sure Saturday would have been crazy.

My opinion is that they should work harder to have more vendors selling more RV related items. I think an ATV or scooter dealer would have been popular to see.

The trailers on display should all have a small table near the entrance so you can set your drink or food down before you go into the rigs. Just me I guess.

I’ve never been to the big shows like the Tampa show but I thought it was fairly average. If you are in the market to buy a trailer for sure this would be a good place to go. A motor home it would be OK if you have driven them before I guess. Will I go back next year? Maybe but I won’t forget my Good Sam card next time 🙂

Here are a few photos from the show.

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