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St. Joseph Gears Up Plan to Attract Business From Chiefs Fans

The Visitors Bureau knows Kansas City Chiefs training camp brings in a ton of fans to St. Joseph.  These are fans they hope will stay, shop, and explore St. Joe.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) 2013 will be the fourth year St. Joseph has hosted the Kansas City Chiefs for training camp at Missouri Western State University.

"We have invested a lot of time and energy in advertising our city to the Chiefs fans," said Lindsay Bernard from the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bernard says the training camp brings in fans from all over the country, and getting them to spend their money in town is a big priority.

"We've had people call and tell us that they want to come and stay overnight and make a vacation out of this," she said.

One big part of the city's marketing effort has been social media.

And behind that effort is Beth Conway.

"Over the last three years social media has just exploded.  People - wherever they go - are talking about what they saw, taking pictures, posting on all kinds of media, not just Facebook."

The Facebook page now has nearly 6,000 followers.

Chiefs camp is on Twitter, and now Instagram.

The hashtag is #KCChiefsInStJo.

"So we're really kind of adapting that to get the fans' perspective of camp when they come here, and what they enjoy, and the memories they're taking back to their families," Conway said.

Earlier this year the Chiefs announced that only morning practices would be open to the public.

"We were disappointed at first with just the one practice, but after a little pow-wowing at the office, we look at it as a positive," Bernard said.

Even though afternoon practices will be closed, the fans will still be in St. Joseph.

And the Visitors Bureau hopes they'll stay, spending their money here in town.

Chiefs camp begins at Missouri Western on July 26.
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