K-State Olathe faculty leads middle and high school students on hospitality field trip in KC

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hospitality management field trip

Students tour the laundry facilities at the Great Wolf Lodge.

OLATHE — Middle school and high school students in Greater Kansas City recently got a behind-the-scenes look at a few of the region's iconic hospitality locations.

Brett Horton, professor of practice in hospitality management at Kansas State University's Olathe campus, led a hospitality-centric field trip through Kansas City with a group of more than 50 middle school and high school students and staff in Kansas City Community College's Kids on Campus summer program. The goal was to introduce students to the hospitality management profession and teach them about some of the skills necessary to be successful in the field.

The outing was the second in the K-State Friday series with Kids on Campus. Throughout the summer, multiple Kansas State University colleges, departments and units are hosting activities and discussions on food safety, community gardening, healthy eating, parasites found in pets, careers in animal science, landscape architecture, pollinators and more. The campers also will visit the Manhattan campus and tour downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to learn about some of the historic locales.

Additionally, the university is underwriting an ACT prep workshop for all high school participants in the camp, with current students and recent alumni providing support and mentorship to the students. A mini college and career fair at the American Royal Complex will have workshops for students and their parents about going to college.

Participating units in K-State Friday are the Office of Diversity; Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, Engineering and Architecture, Planning & Design; K-State Research and Extension; New Student Services; Department of Hospitality Management department; and the K-State Olathe campus and affiliated extension agents.

For the hospitality management activity, the group started at the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, Kansas, where students picked up the lodge's signature wolf ear headbands and toured the resort. Kevin Eldridge, general manager, and his team gave students a personalized look at what it takes to run a hotel with a built-in waterpark.

Lunch was provided by the Chick-fil-A Foundation. Forrest Swyden, restaurant operator, shared about the three keys to success and leadership: making eye contact, smiling and telling the truth.

After lunch, the team traveled to Argosy Casino Hotel and Spa in Riverside, Missouri. Dwayne Adams, director of operations, and his team showed students the restaurants, the room renovations and how to deliver hospitality.

"It was an outstanding group of young people doing great things with their summer," Horton said.