In March 2010, the City of Kearney proclaimed Kearney as the Sandhill Crane Capital of the World. For 6 weeks, late February to early April, more than 80% of the world’s population of Sandhill Cranes converges on Nebraska’s Platte River. The Kearney area offers a wide variety of crane viewing experiences.
Kearney is filled with historical and cultural museums and family-friendly activities. Unique shopping venues are featured in downtown Kearney, “The Bricks” and at the Hilltop Mall. Tempt your palate with an assortment of restaurants featuring local flare, international, national franchise and good ole Nebraska beef. Local wineries and breweries are a must see when you’re looking to kick back and relax.
Entertainment at its finest can be found in Central Nebraska. The Viaero Event Center hosts numerous concerts, events and performances all year round and is home to the Tri-City Storm, a USHL Hockey Team. The Merryman Performing Arts Center and the Kearney Community Theatre offer theatrical and musical entertainment. If you’re not the theatre type, then check out the events calendar for all the different types of happenings in the area.
You will find not only historic trails, such as the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails converge through Central Nebraska but the City of Kearney features over 18 miles of trails, a perfect combination for walking, rollerblading, mountain biking or wildlife viewing. Experience over a dozen parks which include disc golf, water parks, and sport complexes and golf courses.
Kearney, on average hosts a convention or an event per day and is the number one convention location outside Lincoln and Omaha. If you’re interested in hosting an event or conference in Kearney then submit your RFP today and one of our sales team will be in touch.
Observant readers are quick to point out the spelling differences between the fort and the town. The extra “e” in Kearney is not difficult to explain. Someone in the post office simply made a spelling error and by the time it was realized, no one felt a change was necessary.
For the cranes, the Platte River Valley is the most important stopover on this migration. The river provides the perfect spot to rest, and the nearby farmlands and wet meadows offer an abundance of food. Without the energy gained along the Platte, cranes might arrive at their breeding grounds in a weakened condition — where food may be limited until the spring growing season begins.
The Platte River region has a variety of habitats that support cranes. The most important is the Platte River itself. The river is very shallow and sandbars dot the channels. It is here the cranes rest at night, gaining protection from predators like coyotes.
The Sandhill Cranes start arriving around Valentine’s Day, February 14. Peak numbers are reached by the middle of March.
Cranes are opportunistic fliers, relying on thermals and tail winds to carry them along. Thermals are rising columns of warm air and when southerly winds start to blow in late March and early April along the Platte, you will see cranes testing them for flight conditions.
For more information on the Sandhill Crane migration, contact the Lillian Annette Rowe Bird Sanctuary and Iain Nicolson Audubon Center (www.rowesanctuary.org) or call 308-468-5282.
The purposes of the Nebraska Visitors Development Act are (1) to create a fund for general promotional activity, solicitation, and an operating program to attract visitors to Nebraska and further the use of travel and tourism facilities in Nebraska, (2) to provide for a lodging tax on hotels for the purpose of establishing a State Visitors Promotion Cash Fund, and (3) to authorize the governing body of any county to appoint a visitors committee and impose a lodging tax on hotels for the purpose of establishing a County Visitors Promotion Fund and a County Visitors Improvement Fund.
Source: Laws 1980, LB 499, § 1; Laws 1988, LB 797, § 1; Laws 1989, LB 262, § 1; Laws 2003, LB 726, § 1. Effective date August 31, 2003.
A local lodging tax provides a number of benefits for tourism developers and the local community. The lodging tax can be beneficial because it:
1. Provides funding for tourism marketing and development staff at a convention and visitors bureau.
2. Provides funding for marketing and advertising activities.
3. Establishes a standard measure from which to monitor tourism trends in the community.
4. Furnishes a tool to make estimates of the economic impact of tourism.
City of Kearney
The Development Council of Buffalo County
Group Tour Partners
National Tour Association
American Bus Association
Meeting & Convention Partners
Nebraska Society of Association Executives
Regional Tourism Partners
Central Nebraska Tourism Partners
Lincoln Highway Scenic & Historic Byway
Sports & Special Event Partners
National Association of Sports Commissions
State of Nebraska Partners
State of Nebraska
Nebraska Travel Association
Nebraska Department of Roads
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
Nebraska Hotel Motel Association
Nebraska Bed & Breakfast Association
Destination Marketing Association International