2020 Excelsior Springs Year in Review

Despite the unusual nature of the past year and practically nothing going on event-wise, 2020 was a very productive year for Excelsior Springs! Below I will recount key moments during each month throughout the year for us to reflect back on.


• Mugg’s Diner buys out Palermo’s Italian Restaurant and begins operating in the same location.

• K-9 Clips moves from the downtown, renovating the old Goodtimes Restaurant location to expand services to include boarding dogs as well as groom.

• Dubious Claims Brewery and The Atlas Soon were featured on KCTV5’s Friday Night Flights

• Casa Di Vite wine bar was announced, going into the old stone funeral home behind Bross and Spidle in the downtown.

• Ventana Gourmet Grill opens a speakeasy lounge.

• Walmart adds pickup and delivery to online orders.

• Excelsior Springs was designated as a dispensary location with license to KC Cannabis Company in the old Brown’s Pharmacy location.


• ESHS Wrestlers came home with 5 State Championships!

• The Mug Coffeehouse starts serving lunch in addition to breakfast.

• First Resort Chiropractic opens in Vintage Plaza.

• Library partners with neighboring businesses to fix the parking lot that joins them.


• Coronavirus starts shutting down businesses and events. Businesses begin adjusting hours to comply with health mandates.

• Excelsior Springs Standard announces their move out of the downtown and on West Jesse James on the other side of town.

• Citizens Melissa Bartlett, Lani O’Dell, and Jason VanTill lead an Excelsior Springs Trash Pickup Challenge that motivates citizens to improve our space.

• Knit Ewe Together opens downtown on Broadway.

• Shabby Chic moves to opposite side of Broadway where Bliss was located so their building could begin renovations. Their plan is to move back into their old spot once renovations are done so that in their new spot a lunch bistro and speakeasy can be set up!

• Campbell Wood Designs opens in the downtown.


• Soundweaver Studios, LLC announces their plans to open a music studio in the old Carnegie Library downtown on Broadway.

• Tiger Bowl donates Easter hams to local families in need.

• Events begin being cancelled in person and move virtual.

• City of Excelsior Springs reduces pay by 10% due to loss in revenue from the virus. Later this withholding was repaid in full to employees.

• Local churches move Easter services online.


• Local churches collect food for food pantries to help local kids get meals while out of school.

• Fosters Cleaners closes.

• Excelsior Springs Chamber begins offering grants for businesses to help with reduced revenues from forced closures.

• Woodchux announces they will be expanding from their Liberty location to an Excelsior Springs location next to Dubious Claims Brewery on Thompson Ave.

• It’s $5 store becomes Diggers Liquidation Store, with the same shopping concept.

• Storage units begin construction along 69 Hwy. Council sets limits on storage facilities being build in the City, due to over saturation.

• Gordman’s/Goody’s closes.

• Muffin Top Bakery moves into downtown location off 10 Hwy where the old Daylight Donuts was located.


• Fire Chief Paul Tribble retires from the fire department.

• Juneteenth is celebrated by local citizens with a march for Black Lives Matter.

• Two women, Mayor Sharon Powell and Mayor Pro Tem Sonya Morgan make history by being the first women to serve in both leadership roles of the council at the same time.

• Proposition T passes, giving way for a new elementary school to be built and improvements to other buildings in the district can take place.

• Alterations and Custom Sewing becomes a drop off for Gene’s Cleaners.

• Main Spring Arts Gallery closes.

• Excelsior Auction Company opens with online auctions with a focus in coins.

• Grace Wins renovates and opens location on Broadway downtown across from the Hall of Waters in the old Lodwick Law Office building. In the upper level an Air B&B is added.

• Ground breaks on the new elementary school at Lodwick and Wornall.


• The Elms Hotel and other businesses sponsored a fireworks display on the 4th of July for citizens. This was special because the fireworks from Waterfest had been cancelled from the virus.

• Excelsior Springs Hospital announces Telehealth program for near future.

• The Mug Coffeehouse hosts a Cars and Coffee event.

• Luxurious Lashes opens downtown on Marietta Street.


• The BBQ Fly In on the River took place at the airport this year and was limited to participants in the event only. Despite restrictions, there were still 60 teams in the annual event.

• ES Parks and Recreation works with the local fire department to host an “E-Town Hose Down” for local youth to play in water being spouted by fire hoses!

• Excelsior Springs Football Association brings Roosevelt Field back from its abandoned state and renovates the space to be used for youth football again.

• ESHS Seniors hold a Graduation Parade, driving through the streets of Excelsior while citizens waved and cheered for them as they went past. An outdoor graduation ceremony was held on the football field and guests were limited to family only.

• Excel Nutrition announces renovations.

• Alterations and Custom Sewing is featured on KCTV5 for making over 25,000 masks for North Kansas City School District.

• LIFT – Ladies Improving Fitness Together opens in Y Shopping Center.

• Excelsior Springs Community Center opens Wellness Cafe.

• Excelsior Springs Rotary donates benches for the new dog park.


• City of Excelsior Springs announces historic designation and a half a million dollar grant being awarded for the Hall of Waters renovation.

• Oktoberfest was cancelled due to virus concerns.

• Dari-B was on the market for one week before being sold. Rumor is that the new owners will be keeping the traditional seasonal schedule alive.

• Excelsior Springs City Manager Molly McGovern starts a weekly newsletter used to share information about upcoming and completed projects in the City.

• Excelsior Springs Hospital moves Primary Care offices to the hospital’s location, including opening a new pharmacy in the space.

• The City-Wide Garage Sale took place.

• Fishing River Market opens a Makerspace in their building.

• Downtown Excelsior Partnership held their annual dinner in the Hall of Waters Circle Drive.


• Y Liquor begins renovations to expand into the old Foster’s Cleaners space to create a cigar bar in addition to their liquor store.

• Annie’s Furniture closes with plans for Excelsior Springs Animal Clinic to move into the space.

• The Excelsior Springs Golf Course celebrates 105 years!

• Boulevard Florist celebrates 23 years in business!

• Price Chopper announces their plans to do renovations throughout the store.

• Broadway Toyz opens under new ownership in the downtown on Broadway.

• Downtown Excelsior Partnership announces new tourism tool website, allowing tourists to safely while visiting Excelsior Springs.

• Excelsior Springs Hospital hosts a virtual Night at the Hospital and raises $50,000 for Outpatient Clinics.

• ESHS Girls Golf became MRVC Tournament Champions!

• New elementary school is named Cornerstone Elementary.

• Mural on the west side of Ventana is touched up by local artist Jacob Duncan.

• Local citizen Shelby Lemon organizes a Halloween Parade when the virus limits trick or treaters from going door to door.


• The Hall of Trees annual Christmas event went virtual by allowing citizens to view the trees online and also donate to the tree’s sponsors.

• The Excelsior Springs Museum and Archives held a virtual fundraiser online.

• Special Education Teacher Tracy Lynn purchases “Shannon’s House” with plans to renovate for children with autism and their families.

• Friends of the Wells committee launches a fundraising campaign to have the mineral waters tested in a first step toward bringing the waters back for tourism purposes.

• Plans are approved for a Lynn Park Residential 24 complex apartment building to be constructed on Tiger Drive.

• Sincerely, Jones boutique opens in the downtown on Thompson Ave.

• Hitch, Hive, Honey announces operation of apiary locally.


• New Superintendent Dr. Travis Hux was announced to replace retiring Dan Hoehn in August.

• Excelsior Springs Rotary hosts a Grocery Grab at Price Chopper, which Kenny Manley won, running for two local families that are in need.

• Citizen Russell Wenz takes on the Dreadmill Challenge, running and raising money for the Good Samaritan Center.

• City of Excelsior and ES Hospital announces partnership to provide space in Dr. Pickett’s old office location on Jesse James Rd to be used for an indoor COVID testing space.

• Miller Cabinets begins expansion of their facilities.

• Debbie’s Restaurant closes.

• ES Standard and Chamber of Commerce release annual Hello, Excelsior magazine.

• Kilgore’s Vintage + Design moves into the downtown on Thompson Ave. in the old newspaper space.

• Keystone Award winners announced, including Grace Wins and the Loft at Grace Wins for their downtown renovations.

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