The COVID-19 pandemic along with social justice protests and ensuing riots have devastated the most iconic entertainment district in the American Midwest and the crown jewel of all tourist attractions in Kansas City for nearly a century.
Sadly, it seems that protests against police brutality following the killing of George Floyd garnered the largest attendance on the Country Club Plaza in 2020 and earned support from Mayor Quinton Lucas.
Even worse . . . Those "mostly peaceful" protests did, in fact, spark rioting, looting and resulted in a slew of violent conflict, a torched police car, broken windows and chaos during the Summer.
And, just as many predicted, the terrifying memory of civil unrest raging out of control still seems to linger as visitors have forsaken this destination despite generations of loyal customers making this locale part of their family traditions.
To wit . . .
TONIGHT THE COUNTRY CLUB PLAZA WAS NEARLY ABANDONED WITH FEW PATRONS AND VERY LITTLE TRAFFIC!!!
Remember, as many suburban holiday lighting displays have demonstrated, it's possible to maintain social distance and view the Plaza lights from a vehicle. Still, this year patrons seem to have opted out.
Moreover, restrictions on occupancy and a strict 10PM curfew have all but killed any restaurant business in the Plaza according to a few servers who have sent in angry notes to TKC lamenting so many lost tips that are historically generous during the holiday season.
As for the shops, denizens of the Internets ague that Amazon killed the retail biz long ago but last year the luxury market and fawning upscale customer service seemed to be one segment that might survive a cold tech consumer onslaught. Now in 2020, the elite customer base has simply skipped the Plaza altogether and fancy cars or trendy people are nowhere in sight.
A friend of the blog sent this note our way just a few moments ago . . .
"It's almost scary. There's nobody down here. I know that a lot of the stores have closed but I've never seen it like this . . . A few servers at the restaurants are just looking around and waiting for people to show up. On my walk I bought a coffee and there was absolutely no line. This can't lost for very long. I would think that they're probably losing money keeping the lights on for the few dozen people who are actually here doing some shopping. Honestly, it makes me want to cry."
And so, the "dark days" of Winter seem to be on their way to Kansas City and not even the traditional lights of the holiday season provide any hope of illumination against the shadow of death that has moved across the entire nation and our beloved cowtown.
Developing . . .