The Flint Hills Discovery Center is a $24.5 million project of the City of Manhattan. Its Grand Opening, on April 14, 2012, was a landmark event with almost 3,000 visitors. Construction of the building was funded through Sales Tax Revenue (STAR) Bonds, issued by the State of Kansas and repaid by a portion of the sales tax collected within the downtown redevelopment district.
The operational expenses of the Flint Hills Discovery Center are paid by three primary sources of revenue. The largest component is our earned revenues from admission fees, gift shop sales, membership program and facility rental fees. This is augmented by contributions from individuals, foundations, grant programs and corporate sponsorships. Additionally, the Flint Hills Discovery Center receives 1% of the transient bed tax collected at all Manhattan motels and hotels. While our budget is contained within the City of Manhattan General Fund, no general fund dollars support the daily operations.