A CHANCE TO SERVE
It was sometime in 2014. Kayla Stoltenberg (you know her today as Dr. Kayla Riggs), was making her first visit to Pittsburg with her then-fiance, Tyler Riggs.
Kayla is from Iowa. They took the bypass into town. The shuttered gas station on the south side of 4th Street caught her eye.
“I thought that was a pretty big gas station to be sitting empty,” Kayla said.
Ok, fast forward a few years. It’s 2019. Kayla and Tyler are married, started a family, are now living in Pittsburg, and have established a successful chiropractic clinic on North Broadway. They’re renting their space, but would like to own their own building someday.
Kayla is the president of the Pittsburg Area Young Professionals, which took her to a meeting at the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce office.
“I thought that was a pretty big gas station to be sitting empty.”
“I was talking to Blake (Benson) about how we were looking to move and purchase a building, and we wanted something we could fix up,” Kayla said. “It would be an economic development opportunity. Brandee Johnson was there and heard me talking to Blake. She mentioned that her dad was looking to sell the old gas station building at 4th and the bypass.”
Kayla and Tyler went to look at it.
“I didn’t see it at first,” Tyler said. “I wasn’t sure how we could turn that into a clinic.”
Kayla told her husband, “This is what we’re doing.”
And that is what they did. It’s quite something. Eye-catching, attractive, big, bold, and an amazing marketing tool.
“We get several calls a week from people who just drive by and see it,” Kayla said. “It’s the busiest intersection in Crawford County, so the location is definitely an asset.”
Kayla and Tyler met when they were both students at the Cleveland Chiropractic Clinic in Overland Park. At that time, Kansas City life was fun and appealing. But they knew they wanted a family.
“When you start thinking about having children, you do have to think about where you want to raise them,” Tyler said. “We didn’t want to start our family in a place the size of KC.”
“The way we saw it, though, was that there was 98 percent room to grow.”
Tyler had family in Pittsburg, they both loved the town, and Iowa winters didn’t sound fun. On Memorial Day weekend in 2015, the Riggs family officially became Pittsburg residents. Six months later, they opened Riggs Chiropractic Clinic.
“At the time, the utilization rate in Pittsburg for chiropractic services was two percent,” Kayla said. “We had some people tell us that because it’s so low, we didn’t have much chance for success here. The way we saw it, though, was that there was 98 percent room to grow.”
And grow they did, so much so that they needed to move from their first location. They needed more space and a place to call their own, which led them to that old gas station.
“Demo started in February 2020, and we moved in July 2,” Kayla said.
Along with their business success, Kayla and Tyler both said being in Pittsburg allowed them to get involved in the community and feel welcomed by family and friends.
“Everyone here takes you in,” Kayla said. “It’s very easy to meet people here. And with Tyler having family here, it was just this whole family atmosphere that was enveloping. We love living in Pittsburg.”
The amenities in Pittsburg also help with recruitment of new doctors for their clinic.
“Whenever we’re recruiting, we take doctors downtown to see everything there,” Kayla said. “We show them Block22. We take them down to Pitt State’s campus. We know they want a life outside of our clinic’s walls, and we’re proud to show them all Pittsburg has to offer.”