On October 2, 2012, the City of Independence entered into a 25-Year Lease Agreement with the County of Jackson to lease space in the Historic Truman Courthouse, 102 N. Main Street, Independence, MO to house the City of Independence Tourism Department staff offices as well as a Visitor Experience Center. While this space continues to serve the City well as the primary Administrative Office location for the Tourism Division, it has become apparent that visitors to the city, as well as tourism attractions, would greatly benefit from a satellite location for the Visitor Experience Center.
Currently, approximately sixty (60) percent of the walk in traffic at the Visitor Experience Center is looking for Jackson County Services. Conversely, approximately sixty (60) percent of the walk in traffic at the Independence Chamber of Commerce comes in looking for visitor information, despite information on the website and social media directing them to the Visitor Experience Center in the Historic Truman Courthouse. In response, staff has discussed the potential of leasing a portion of the lobby in the Independence Chamber of Commerce building, located at 210 W. Truman Road, to serve as a visitor experience center satellite location. The resulting proposed lease agreement also includes one office space and a storage closet, and the addition of new exterior signage. The addition of a visitor experience center satellite office in the Chamber of Commerce building will further the Department’s mission to promote and expand tourism in Independence. Furthermore, the approval of this lease agreement will fulfill the City’s commitment made to the voters after the passage of the 2002 Transient Guest Tax ballot measure by greatly enhancing the City’s ability to interact with visitors in a prominent, clearly identifiable, and easily accessible location.
The commencement of the lease agreement is currently anticipated to occur on, or after, August 1, 2018, and will automatically renew unless the Independence Chamber of Commerce receives written notice of intent from City of Independence to terminate the Lease Agreement. The initial monthly rental amount payable by the City of Independence Tourism Division will be a total of $600 and the agreement provides for an increase or decrease of rent, which shall not be more than 10% per year. The Independence Chamber of Commerce may not increase rent more than once in a calendar year.