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Hays is the county seat of Ellis County and is a prosperous and growing community, known as the largest city in northwestern Kansas with a population of over 20,000 people. The city is known as an economic and cultural center of the region, with outstanding educational systems from various institutions, including Fort Hays State University, North Central Kansas Technical College, and KSU Ag Research Center. With the majority of the economy based on agriculture-related jobs from productive agricultural land and underground oil reserves, Hays has also focused on industrial, commercial, and retail growth in recent years. The city hosts several recreational events through venues such as Hays Miniature Golf & Batting Cages, Cedar Bluff State Park, Sunrise Park, and Ekey Park, and Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course. Hays is also known for their tourist attractions including Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays State Historic Site, Hays Aquatic Park, Antique Mall of Hays, Historic Downtown Hays, and Ellis County Historical Society.