NCAA Tournament puts Tulsa in national spotlight
Downtown Tulsa was a buzz of activity this weekend as Tulsa welcomed visitors for the 2nd and 3rd Rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships March 18 and 20.
While the actual total economic impact will not be known for several more weeks as sales revenue is collected and reported, event organizers have estimated it to be upward of $8 million for the three to five days players, officials, fans and visitors were in town.
With total ticket sales of nearly 43,000 including nearly 16,000 sold for the highest attended third session on Sunday, VisitTulsa estimates total visitors may have reached nearly 70,000.
“For our first time hosting a sporting event of this magnitude since its last appearance in Tulsa 26 years ago, we are extremely pleased with how well it went,” said Ray Hoyt, Tulsa Sports Commission executive director. “As with any event, we will have a debriefing meeting with the organizing committee and consider areas for improvement next time.”
Six key areas have been identified by the committee as measures for success of the event, which include fan experience and atmosphere, venue, tournament game-day operations, ticket sales, hospitality and transportation.
“I think the shuttles were a huge success,” said Hoyt. “We had several visitors comment on how much they were appreciated and it was something they had not found in other host cities as most shuttles only route to and from the arena.”
VisitTulsa staff estimate about 7,000 visitors took advantage of the shuttles throughout the three days visiting Tulsa’s entertainment districts. Stationed on shuttles and at information booths at the arena and Hyatt hotel downtown were 65 volunteers to help direct visitors, provide information and make them feel welcome. The volunteers, donning turquoise “Tulsan” shirts, distributed at least 12,000 maps, 2,000 visitors guides and 1,500 coupon books helping guests take advantage of all Tulsa has to offer.
Next steps for Tulsa will include a debriefing meeting with The University of Tulsa, SMG and Tulsa Sports Commission officials to hear final remarks from NCAA staff on their impression of Tulsa and what the city will need to do in order to make their next bid in 2014.
Transportation coalition presents award to Sec. Gary Ridley
An advocacy group dedicated to funding and restoring Oklahoma’s infrastructure, Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation (TRUST), presented its inaugural “Guardian of Transportation” award to state Secretary of Transportation and Oklahoma Department of Transportation Director Gary Ridley during its annual Transportation Innovation Banquet held last week in Oklahoma City.
TRUST President Neal McCaleb said the group plans to present the award annually to an individual who exemplifies excellence in all areas of the transportation industry.
“It is fitting our first Guardian of Transportation award recipient is Secretary Ridley,” McCaleb said. “Secretary Ridley is an outstanding public servant and has been a tireless advocate for improving Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure system, many times with far less resources than needed.”
More than 225 TRUST members, legislators, elected officials and transportation advocates attended the banquet. During the banquet, TRUST officials also praised members of the state House of Representatives for passage of HB 1514, authored by Rep. Guy Liebmann (R-Oklahoma City) and Sen. Bryce Marlatt (R-Woodward). HB 1514 raises the cap on road funds from $400 million to $500 million. The cap has no immediate fiscal impact but does allow ODOT to expand project planning within its multi-year construction work plan. The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Chamber VP attends conference, makes HQ visits
Tulsa Metro Chamber Senior Vice President of economic development Jim Fram met with Marc Grynberg, CEO of Umicore, at the company's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium during Fram’s marketing trip to attend the European Wind Energy Association annual conference. Umicore employs 115 Oklahomans at facilities in Miami and at the Port of Catoosa.
As part of its Tulsa’s Future II economic development plan, the Tulsa Metro Chamber attends numerous business attraction trips, conferences and headquarter visits each year.
“Interactions with key decision makers in business relocation are essential to developing relationships that lead to projects for the Tulsa region,” Fram said. “Events like the European Wind Energy Association conference and accompanying call trips allow us to tell the Tulsa region’s story and share why site location experts should put us at the top of their project lists. Our region is competing with peer cities across the country, and the Tulsa’s Future plan calls for aggressive business attraction marketing to bring new companies and new jobs to Tulsa.”
What we’re working onExecutive
• Attending Tulsa’s Future II CEO meetings.
• Oklahoma Academy Town Hall meeting.
• Executive Committee Meeting.
• Dinner meeting with economic development prospects.
• Speaking at Tulsa Midtown Rotary meeting.
• Meeting with County Commissioner Chairman Fred Perry.
• Monthly breakfast meeting with Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Terry Simonson, Chris Benge and Mike Bunney.
• Hosting Monthly Capitol Luncheon in Oklahoma City.
• Monthly Meeting with Rich Brierre, INCOG.
• SHOPP quarterly meeting.
• VisitTulsa Advisory Council meeting.
• Tulsa Sports Commission Advisory Council Meeting.
• Hosting 2011 Foundation Cup committee meeting.
• Regional Day at the Capitol planning meeting.
• Attending Governor Fallin's Tulsa Regional Advisory Board On Job Creation meeting.
• Arkansas River Development meeting with Senator Jim Inhoffe’s staff.
• Attending a meeting regarding new strategy for the Let’s Do Business program.
• Attending the World’s Best Technology conference in Dallas, focused on high-tech start-ups.
• Hosting a Small Business Forum.
• Continuing land/facility search for industrial project(s).
• Meeting with Small Business Award nominees to assist with finalizing nomination packages.
• Doing business in Mexico conference call with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
• Attending a Tulsa Global Alliance meeting.
Education and Workforce
• Working on our application for the Talent Dividend Prize.
• Compiling Talent Dividend Survey results for comparison and reporting.
• Attending North Tulsa NOW luncheon.
• Attending Workforce Tulsa board meeting to ratify new ED and youth services manager.
• Working on April Partners In Education e-newsletter.
• Planning and coordinating Partners In Education reception.
• Accepting and reviewing nominees for the Partners In Education Award.
• Planning and coordinating Oklahoma Scholars dinner.
• Recruiting volunteers for Oklahoma Scholars Tulsa Public Schools presentations.
• Planning brown bag lunch for CACR Coaches.
• Coordinating health care forum on EMSA.
• Coordinating education forum on Project Schoolhouse, featuring Dr. Keith Ballard.
• Attending Tulsa Ballet board meeting.
Marketing and communications
• Completing content for Tulsa’s Future annual meeting pieces.
• Completing the monthly Tulsa’s Future e-newsletter.
• Completing the monthly site consultant e-newsletter.
• Compiling content for the new downtown development website.
• Planning for a media announcement.
• Drafting and distributing follow up NCAA communications.
• Beginning preliminary meetings and planning communications for USA Volleyball World League match this summer.
• Attending Tulsa City Council Urban and Economic Development Committee meeting.
• Hosting a Dallas/Ft. Worth Blitz partnership meeting.
• Hosting VisitTulsa Advisory Council meeting.
• Processing Housing Bureau requests for SKILLS USA 2011 Leadership Conference.
• Preparing to host the Arabian Horse Association Board of Directors for a site visit at Expo Square.
Tulsa Sports Commission
• NCAA Wrap Up.
• Hosting TSC Advisory Council meeting.
Chamber welcomes new businessesEach month the Tulsa Metro Chamber's Hospitality Club welcomes new businesses and new Chamber members to the community by assisting with ribbon cuttings and groundbreaking announcements.
Welcome new members:
15th Street Veterinary Group
Aaron C. Peterson, Attorney
Advanced Benefit Solutions, LLC
Bishop's Fine Jewelry
Freeman Harris Funeral Home
Looks Beauty & Wellness
Mackey Medical & Design
Modern Bindery & Finishing Services, LLC
See It Sell
Shapard Research, LLC
The Dog House
Upper Cervical Health Centers
Wrany R. Southard DDS, PC