- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - A proposal to bring indoor skydiving to a Kansas City suburb hit an obstacle when city council members questioned the wisdom of placing an oddly shaped building in a prominent place in the city, particularly if the business closes in the future.

IFly Indoor Skydiving, of Austin, Texas, wants to open a business in Overland Park that allows customers to free fall and float in a vertical wind tunnel between two columns. Nothing can be placed between the columns on the 60-foot building because of vibration from the air flow, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1DdFhgm ).

On Monday, some Overland Park City Council members insisted the developer would have to agree to remove the building if the business closed.

“The last thing we need is a vacant iFly building at this prime location,” Councilman Terry Goodman said. “It’s not a building you can just reuse.”

Curt Petersen, a legal representative for the company, said the lower part of the building is the size of a typical restaurant and the top structures could be removed if necessary, although he said iFly venues across the world are hugely popular and none have had to close.

“We are here with a world-class international product that will draw people on a regional basis,” he said. “The look is iconic and I feel like the city would embrace it. Not a single facility has closed and it’s extremely popular.”

IFly has more than 25 locations worldwide and this proposed venue would be the first in Kansas and in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Despite his concerns, Goodman said he isn’t against the concept.

“I’m not totally opposed to the idea of iFly itself,” Goodman said. “I know the importance of tourism and this is an attraction that would promote that possibility. I think it’s an idea worth exploring.”

The council sent the proposal back to the planning commission to address concerns about building reclamation and parking.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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