I’ve lived in the greater Seattle area for close to 45 years. My main residence is still in Auburn Washington where our headquarters is located. I travel back and forth to the city of Wichita for business and have purchased a home in Andover, KS to be close by our gun range in Wichita. Whenever anyone has dual residences, people tend to ask how we like Wichita. The answer is quite easy, I love it. Of course not everything is better in Wichita as you can imagine. I love the mountains and the Puget Sound, it’s absolutely beautiful. The air and water in the Seattle area is fantastic, and as much as it rains there, I prefer weather in the NW to the windy & drastic changes of Wichita. There are many things to do in Wichita and many reasons to like it. That’s why there are so many amazing thoughts that come up when I hear the phrase, “What do you like about Wichita?”
The first thing that comes to mind is the price of real estate. For a nice 3 bed/ 2 bath home in the suburbs of Seattle, it may run you $400-600,000. That same home in Wichita will cost $200-300K. Yes, 1/2 price! Commercial real estate is even a bigger difference. Our 8,000 sq ft location in Auburn appraised for $2.8 million, while I purchased a 45,000 sq ft location in Wichita for $1.4 million. Not only is Wichita the center of the US for easy shipping times, it’s easy to see why we moved our fulfillment center. It just made business sense. It’s no surprise that when we announced our intentions to move our fulfillment center, of our team members decided to come with us.
The second biggest difference is how friendly the people are. If anyone has ever been to a big city, like NY, you notice people are less friendly. I don’t believe people are “meaner.” I believe it’s the pace of living is a bit quicker and people mainly mind their own business. They are too busy to “smell the roses” or take interest in others that’s not in their immediate circles. In much the same way, Seattle’s pace isn’t quite to NY’s level but it’s definitely quicker than Wichita. On my latest flight over to Wichita, there was a young family, the mom and dad had their hands full, with babies, baby carrier, baby bags, their own bags, etc. He got to the side letting others pass while he was trying to grab everything. He really needed 2 more hands or make multiple trips. Seattlelites would most likely smile and pass and get to their seat.
Well, not the man flying to Wichita. He says, “let me give you a hand.” The father says, “it’s okay.” But the Wichita man clearly knew he needed help so he said again, “it’s no problem, let me get that for you.” I’m sure that may be a common occurrence in Wichita but when you live in Seattle, seeing just how friendly and helpful people are, it’s quite amazing. That is just one of so many encounters I’ve experienced, I can say without a doubt, people are friendlier in Wichita. Also, as a side note, people are not prejudice at all. One of the benefits living in the West coast is there are so many Asians there, you don’t feel like a minority. Clearly, I’m a minority in Wichita but I don’t feel it at all. Unlike other parts of the country, down south or even one of my favorite states like TX, you see it and feel it.
The third reason why Wichita is better than Seattle is having so many food options. I love all the great food that’s available in Wichita. I didn’t know this before I moved here but there are more restaurants per capita than any other city in the country. Did I mention it’s also way more affordable that Seattle? If you want a great steak, we have it. If you want good pizza, we have it. If you want fried chicken, holy! Why do we have so many fried chicken places? They are all really good too! I’m sure this may change as I live here longer, but so far, I love Slim Chickens. Do you want Mediterranean food? We have that too! Do you want great Asian food, sorry…stay in Seattle. I think that’s the only thing we are missing here in Wichita. Well, with the exception of Vietnamese food, there are no great Asian choices.
The fourth reason why Wichita is better than Seattle is the price of everything else. The price of gas is a dollar cheaper than Seattle, the price of groceries, the price of rent. Speaking of rent, one of my team members was paying $1800 for a 2 bedroom apartment in Federal Way, now they are paying $800 for a 2 larger 2 bedroom apartment that’s on the golf course with unlimited green fees. Just about everything costs less. Do you want to park in downtown Seattle? It’s $20, in Wichita it’s free.
A few topics that I’ll list as my 5th reason doesn’t need much explanation but is clearly better in Wichita; Traffic or the lack there of, politics including, gun rights, the lack of city homelessness (drug use & tent cities), etc. Lastly, how many people can say, they own their own indoor shooting range? Find out about becoming a member.
Well, I cheated a little. As you can see, there are more than 5 things I love about Wichita. As I spend more time here, I’m sure I’ll find other things I love and also possibly hate. We will leave that for another article.