Frequently Asked Questions
What is Field Station: Dinosaurs?
Field Station: Dinosaurs is a dinosaur-themed attraction for children and families in Derby, Kansas. It includes an outdoor park with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, ropes course under a dome, 18-hole miniature golf course, and fossil dig site. The attraction is designed to attract visitors from the Wichita metro area, other cities in Kansas and other states. View the proposal.
How much will this project cost?
This project proposes $18.9 million in STAR bonds to leverage $135 million in private investment in the entire STAR bond district.
How big will Field Station: Dinosaurs be?
Approximately 14 acres.
How many people will be employed at Field Station: Dinosaurs?
Approximately 90 jobs would be created, including many for young people.
What are STAR bonds?
STAR stands for Sales Tax and Revenue bonds. The bonds will be paid off using the sales tax revenue generated by the new facility and businesses in a newly created STAR bond district.
Where will this new development be located?
Field Station: Dinosaurs is located on the west side of Rock Road, north of Patriot Avenue. Rock Regional Hospital (opened in 2019) and a medical office building (under construction) are north of there behind the water tower. The STAR bond district encompasses property on the north and south sides of Patriot and on both sides of Rock Road. View the map of the proposed development and STAR bond district.
Will this raise taxes on businesses in the STAR bond district?
No. This does not affect the amount of taxes levied on any business or household in Derby. The STAR bond district simply takes new sales tax growth within the district and redirects that revenue to pay off the bonds that were used to fund the project, rather than that revenue going to the city and state of Kansas.
How is sales tax revenue allocated?
For every $100,000 of sales tax collected,
- $81,250 goes to the State of Kansas (6.5% tax).
- $12,500 goes to Sedgwick County (1% tax) which keeps part and distributes part to the 20 cities in the county [Derby gets $500].
- $6,250 goes to the City of Derby (0.5% tax) to support Parks, Library, and Fire and Rescue [Derby Difference Sales Tax].
Does this project use sales tax money designated by Derby voters in 2013 for the library, new parks and Derby Fire & Rescue?
No. This project would not affect how the sales tax, known as the Derby Difference Sales Tax, is spent. The bonds will be paid primarily with future sales tax growth generated by retail sales in the STAR bond district.
Why not Derby? The developer was looking for a place to put this attraction with a good-sized population that will help drive traffic to the destination and to the retail stores and restaurants. Derby has an average family household income of $85,937, twice that of Wichita. Derby is the 17th largest city in Kansas and continues to experience growth in both residential and commercial sectors. Derby is located near major highways. By investing in an attraction like this, we encourage people to come to Derby. While they are here, they can also shop, eat, go to Rock River Rapids aquatic park and stay the night.
Derby is a residential community. Why are we trying to attract visitors?
In 2002, Derby residents voted to spend $7 million to build Rock River Rapids aquatic park to create a regional attraction. Now, we have the opportunity to be home to a world-class attraction that can bring in people from across Kansas and surrounding states. Visitors generate sales for Derby businesses and sales tax revenue for the City. Visitors also gain exposure to the Derby community, and some of them may consider moving to Derby.
What is the timeline?
Getting STAR bonds approved is a long process. Since the Kansas Department of Commerce approved the project in October 2016, the City closed on the sale of STAR bonds in March 2017. Construction began in fall 2017 and Field Station: Dinosaurs opened May 26, 2018. Rock Regional Hospital opened in 2019.