About

What is the Play & Stay Columbus?

It is a partnership between the City of Columbus and the Columbus Platte County Convention and Visitors Bureau. With the work of Director Betsy Eckhardt and her volunteer council, the CASAC will help promote athletic and civic activities in the Columbus Area.

This council will aid in promoting additional events for the community while better utilizing current facilities and to keep the local activities schedule filled year-round.

History

In the spring of 2014, The Columbus/Platte County Convention and Visitors Bureau started working on a partnership with the City of Columbus with the hope to create a Columbus Area Sports and Activities Council.

Columbus Public Property Director Doug Moore and Deb Loseke of the Columbus/Platte County Convention and Visitors Bureau shared their vision with the City Council on May 5, 2014.

The goal for the promotional group, which would start as a partnership between the City and Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, focuses on bringing new events to the area while growing existing youth and adult activities with an overall goal of boosting local tourism.

The City of Columbus and Visitors Bureau committed to financially assisting the Columbus Area Sports & Activities Council for the first three years with the funding amount gradually decreasing each year. The goal is to create a full-time position that is self-funded through grants and financial support from local business and other sponsors.

The Director position was initially filled in January 2016 by Lynelle Schrunk. Due to a family move, the Director role was then filled by Kluth in April 2016. Doug Kluth took another position in 2020 and the Director role is now filled by Betsy Eckhardt.

Impact

The Columbus area will benefit from the additional money that is generated from lodging, dining and shopping dollars brought in by people coming to partake in sporting tournaments and other events.

Our community’s youth and citizens also win, by having a variety of sports and activities available to them at their front door.

Columbus Area Sports & Activities Council

Meet the members who strive to positively impact the economy and quality of life of the Columbus Area.

Doug Moore

Public Property Director

Brook Tomka

Aquatic Center/Pawnee Plunge

Travis Tessendorf

Tessendorf Chiropractic–Owner

Cari Franzen

YMCA Health Coach/Program Director

Fred Ritter

Retired–Vocal Instructor | VoiceHouse!–Owner

Doug Janssen

Columbus Community Hospital

Mary Young

Central Community College–Athletic Director

Tim Kwapnioski

Columbus High School Athletic Director

Merlin Lahm

Scotus Central Catholic Athletic Director

Katy McNeil

Liaison: Columbus Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Doug Moore

Public Property Director

Doug Janssen

Columbus Community Hospital

Brook Tomka

Aquatic Center/Pawnee Plunge

Mary Young

Central Community College–Athletic Director

Travis Tessendorf

Tessendorf Chiropractic–Owner

Tim Kwapnioski

Columbus High School Athletic Director

Cari Franzen

YMCA Health Coach/Program Director

Merlin Lahm

Scotus Central Catholic Athletic Director

Fred Ritter

Retired–Vocal Instructor | VoiceHouse!–Owner

Katy McNeil

Liaison: Columbus Area Convention & Visitors Bureau