Union Station Transforming from Money Pit to Money Maker

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A few years ago, Union Station was on the verge of closing its doors thanks to a crippling $13 million debt. But thanks to a change in philosophy, it’s now generating cash for the second year in a row.

Previously, Union Station ran all of its shops and restaurants itself. Now, the office and shop space is being rented out, and Union Station president and CEO George Guastello says that has made all of the difference.

“We still get no tax dollars, and that’s a really important part the community needs to understand. The building was renovated ten years ago with $117 million, but now we’re focusing on a business model where we earn our keep, and we look to donors and foundations to help us continue to grow,” said Guastello.

Union Station has also reduced its work force to save money. Guastello says, for example, this year’s holiday decorations were installed mostly by volunteers.

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