Category Archives: Intrust Bank Arena

Geek Shop to expand to new space near Intrust Bank Arena

Jason Gregg of the Geek Shop, who says he fixes most anything with batteries or that plugs in an outlet.

WICHITA — Rockers, athletes and partiers all hang out in and around Intrust Bank Arena, so why not geeks, too?

Jason Gregg is moving his Geek Shop from 1,500 square feet at 837 S. Poplar near Lincoln and Interstate 135 to almost 11,000 square feet at 214 S. Commerce just north of the arena.

“With the arena starting to stand on its feet now, the area could change,” Gregg says. “The area will change. … I see it right now as unrealized opportunities.”

He likes the growing residential component along with the increasing number of businesses. Gregg thinks his company could see a lot of new work from customers in the area who need technology repairs and support.

“Basically, we’re just a little bit of everything,” he says of what he offers.

In addition to repairing almost anything that takes batteries or plugs in an outlet, Gregg also plans a 1,000-square-foot gaming lounge in his new space and a 1,000-square-foot Internet cafe that also can be used for board games and card games.

“We’re really into gaming. We love technology,” Gregg says. He says he views it “as a passion, so this really isn’t just a job.”

The new repair area will grow by 400 percent, he says, and he expects to be able to handle about 50 repairs at once.

In the new store’s basement, Gregg says, he’ll be able to properly handle the disposal of chemicals and components from electronics.

“It has to be recycled responsibly,” he says. “We’re a green company. We like to reuse, repurpose. We like to utilize limited resources and be creative.”

Jameson Decker of Builders Inc. handled the deal for the space.

Gregg plans to move in early October, and he expects his new store to be a test of sorts by furthering research into technology, particularly as it relates to open-source applications, meaning any technology without a license. The idea, he says, is “people being able to share information as fast as light will travel.”

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Aerosmith appeared in Wichita but ‘Idol’ didn’t, despite what Steven Tyler says

WICHITA — Aerosmith front man and former “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler did an interview from Kansas City, Mo., today with the syndicated “Bobby Bones Show.”

“Do you travel so much that you forget where you are at times?” Bones asked.

“Absolutely, absolutely,” Tyler said before unintentionally going on to prove it.

“I was on the set the other night in … Wichita, Kansas,” Tyler said.

That part was true. Aerosmith played Intrust Bank Arena Sunday night.

“Just so happened ‘Idol’ was there,” Tyler said. He went on to explain that he called up his former “Idol” buddies Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest, who said they wanted to come to his show.

“Of course, I dragged them both out on stage, which was a hoot for me. That was my coup de grace, getting them both out on stage in my world and not on the set of ‘Idol’ was a grand finale for me.”

A grand finale it may have been, but it didn’t happen in Wichita. “Idol” was taping in Oklahoma City.

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Sarah Haertl to leave Intrust Bank Arena for BOK Center and Tulsa Convention Center

WICHITA — Sarah Haertl says there’s only one arena she would have left Intrust Bank Arena for, and now that’s what she’s doing.

“My original dream job was Intrust Bank Arena,” says Haertl, who has been the director of sales and marketing since October 2009, three months before the arena opened.

As of Sept. 10, Haertl will be the director of marketing for Tulsa’s BOK Center and the Tulsa Convention Center.

“It’s just a dream opportunity for me,” she says. “The BOK is just one of those special buildings that for whatever reason continues to exceed expectations.”

Haertl is married to Bruce Haertl, sports director for KWCH, Channel 12.

“At this point I plan to come back on weekends … and one night during the week and commute as well as we possibly can,” Sarah Haertl says. “I do not have this all figured out yet.”

The Haertls have two older children and two younger ones, and Sarah Haertl says they’re all right with her move.

“The 10-year-old is really excited because the BOK Center has a Justin Bieber date.”

You don’t say

“Maybe we can have a hot dog-eating contest.”

– Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Skelton, joking about possible events this year at Intrust Bank Arena

You don’t say

“I was hoping to come out with some fog and a laser light show.”

Walter Berry, president of Berry Cos., speaking onstage at Intrust Bank Arena during Thursday’s chamber Chairman’s Lunch

Zelman Lofts fully leased on residential side; commercial leasing is next

WICHITA — The nine residential spaces at Zelman Lofts are now completely leased.

“It’s some proof in the pudding that we’re hard workers,” says Michael Ramsey, who is redeveloping the building with Robert Eyster.

Now, they’re moving on to leasing 4,800 square feet of retail or restaurant space that fronts Douglas and another 1,000 square feet of office space that fronts St. Francis.

“The group is going to be particular about who goes in there because it’s very special space,” says Leisa Lowry of J.P. Weigand & Sons, who handles Ramsey and Eyster’s real estate deals.

The building, which was Sam Zelman’s namesake clothing store for decades, is across from Intrust Bank Arena and between an existing city park and another one being built just up St. Francis.

“It’s a tremendous corner,” Ramsey says.

Lowry says the response so far has been great, too.

She says interest has mostly been from restaurateurs, and it looks like that’s what will go in the space.

“We’ve had a lot of excellent activity on it.”

Intrust Bank Arena assistant general manager takes GM job in Bakersfield, Calif.

WICHITA — Intrust Bank Arena assistant general manager Scott Neal – the longest-serving employee at the arena – is leaving to become general manager of Rabobank Arena, Theater & Convention Center in Bakersfield, Calif.

“It’s kind of the natural process within our company,” says A.J. Boleski, Intrust Bank Arena general manager.

Both arenas are SMG properties.

According to the Bakersfield Californian, the last Rabobank Arena general manager left in September amid a decline in bookings.

Intrust Bank Arena has had its own issues, including being $219,417 in the red through September.

Boleski says that has nothing to do with Neal’s departure.

“He’s done a phenomenal job.”

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Intrust Bank Arena proves to be a test kitchen for Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe

WICHITA — Intrust Bank Arena has proven to be a good test kitchen for Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe.

Jon Rolph says dishes prepared at his family’s chain of restaurants usually take about seven-to-10 minutes of prep time.

“When you’re at an arena, you’ve got to do it in about 20 seconds.”

That’s what led to the invention of the Baja Chicken Wrap.

“We played around with a bunch of different (dishes), and this rose to the top,” Rolph says.

“We were really surprised at how many people would be at the arena and then come in (our restaurants) and request it.”

So now, the wrap will be on the Carlos O’Kelly’s menu along with the cilantro lime rice that’s used to make it.

“I wouldn’t be surprised . . . if we don’t discover some new opportunities,” Rolph says of other menu items born at the arena.

The wide range of customers helps, he says.

“You get to see rockers, you get to see country music lovers and hockey moms all in one place throughout the year.”

You don’t say

“It’s like a circus with no elephants.”

Intrust Bank Arena director of sales and marketing Sarah Haertl, who wrote on her Facebook page that she wouldn’t follow WWE wrestling on TV but loved having it at the arena Monday night

You don’t say

“I prefer milk, but that doesn’t go as well on the sign.”

Monica Schlegel of Monica’s Bundt Cake, who sells her cakes at Intrust Bank Arena and advertises shows (such as Michael Buble today) at her Douglas Avenue store with signs such as “Buble, bundts & beer”