Emporia State University – A Cherished Tourism Partner

Posted on Oct 8, 2019

CVB Staff
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Emporia State University has a significant impact on the Emporia economy and we appreciate all that they bring to the community. The reach is well beyond 5,900 students infiltrating the city from August through May. We reached out to ESU’s Marketing and Media Relations department and asked them how the University affects tourism. Here’s what they had to say.


The start of a new school year brings to Emporia not only an influx of students, but a variety of events that allow the opportunity for Emporia State University and the city of Emporia to come together.

Throughout the year, the university hosts events, meetings, and exhibits that attract not only their own student population but community members and visitors from outside the Emporia Area. From sporting events to meeting spaces available to the public, the university brings the people in, while the great local attractions keep them around, boosting Emporia’s economy.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, ESU’s Memorial Union hosted more than 2,500 people from groups outside the Emporia area. The Kansas Music Teachers Association, Kansas Masonic Association, AAA Allied Group, and Westar are among many businesses and associations that used the Memorial Union facilities. And while these events take place on campus, visitors brought in to use the halls and meeting spaces often spill out into the Emporia community for meals, hotels, entertainment, and other services.

ESU-sponsored events also help draw in visitors. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions hosts daily visits and other recruitment events that bring prospective students and their families to campus for a taste of life in Emporia. Other events such as the Visiting Writers Series put on by the Department of English, Modern Languages, and Journalism and the theatre department’s stage performances help bring people to the Emporia community.

ESU Athletics consistently welcomes student athletes and their family members throughout the year. During the 2018-2019 academic year, Emporia State hosted around 100 division II games, meets, and matches either on campus or in the shared athletic spaces throughout Emporia. Additionally, ESU often hosts other athletic events in their facilities. Over July 4th weekend last year, the USATF Region 9 Junior Olympic Outdoor Track & Field Championship brought to ESU’s campus more than 500 athletes and their families. The annual Spring Migration Triathlon held on April 14 last year, which utilized the Emporia State swimming pool and track, brought in more than five dozen competitors.

Locals and visitors alike will soon see the streets filled for Emporia State Homecoming Weekend, which attracts alumni from all over the nation. There are more than 50 homecoming-related events from Wednesday, October 16 through Sunday, October 20, with multiple class and group reunions. Some of the events open to the public include the ESU Theatre’s homecoming musical, Little Women; Late Night at White 2019; the Homecoming Parade and rally; and of course, the football game. Other events will be student-centered or focused on visiting alumni groups.

Whatever the event, Emporia State visitors can be seen around town checking out the local parks and pubs, eating at one of the many great local restaurants, or shopping at a local boutique. Those coming in from out of town can try the banh mi at Chi Em Eats, stop for a drink at Mulready’s Pub, stay in the historic Gufler Mansion, and browse The Dusty Trail Gift Shoppe while visiting ESU for one of the many hosted events. And while ESU brings people in, the city keeps them around with businesses, services, and attractions to make every visitor feel like home. For more information about Emporia State University, visit emporia.edu.

CVB Staff
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