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Origin story of KC’s famous selection letters at Union Station

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One of the most iconic gathering places for Chiefs fans is located right inside Union Station.

Illuminated selection letters spelling “Chiefs Kingdom” are on display for photo ops during the playoffs.

“They’re amazing. I was here about two years ago when they did it and it’s always fun to come and take pictures,” said fan Mariaah Brown.

Union Station President and CEO George Guastello says the landmark is all about making memories.

“That gives me the greatest joy — it’s that I have something to do with making memories in someone’s life,” Guastello said. “Kids are taking their own photos, they’ll have those photos in the family album and they’ll be able to tell that story to future generations.”

The Letters are owned by Alpha-Lit KC, a women-owned small business that launched in 2019. They rent out various letters, numbers, and marquee symbols to clients for their event needs.

While 80% of their sales are for weddings, they also work to personalize birthdays, graduations and other private events.

“I pinch myself, and my sister-in-law and brother do too, so we wake up every day and make events and people’s lives happier,” said co-owner Heather Coday. An amazing feeling is when you turn on the lights and everyone gasps and goes, ‘Ah, that’s so good.'”

Union Station’s partnership with Alpha-Lit KC began in 2020.

Coday launched his business at a downtown Kansas City wedding convention. A week later, efforts were underway to get the letters into the main hall.

He says the exposure at Union Station has helped the small business get off the ground enormously. Now the company is fully booked two to three months early, and 50% of sales during the playoffs are tied to the Chiefs.

“We get that a lot: ‘Are you the one doing the lights at Union Station?'” Coday said. “We were like rest easy for a while. We were like, ‘Oh, business is steadily growing,’ and then it was like BAM.

Coday feels happy to know that he is playing a role in helping Union Station become the beating heart of the KC community.

“I hope they enjoy it, they love it, they take all the pictures you want, all the selfies you want, but I think the long-term effect of having those memories is what’s really special to us,” Coday said.

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