Sunday, October 25, 2009

MAPS promotion

Finally some promotion. Last Thursday the OKC Chamber had a large luncheon at the Downtown Sheraton ballroom to promote MAPS. Several speakers came up, explained MAPS 3, pushing for the Dec. 8th vote. Mayor Mick spoke arguing for the reasons behind MAPS 3. A world rowing champion spoke about what the whitewater facility would do for OKC. And a convention industry expert spoke about the need for the convention center. Watch for yourself here on the live stream (it was once live).

Important new points that Mayor Mick expanded on:
  1. They definitely seem to consider consider the idea website the "citizen feedback" part of the project.
  2. There WOULD be a Citizen Oversight Committee, which had been a major point of contention among MAPS critics who have been dismayed that the citizen involvement behind the project.
  3. Cornett argued that the conv center was just an arena with meeting rooms built around it, and is smaller than Tulsa, Wichita, Omaha, and other cities..and told ppl that the best economic development is a dollar earned somewhere else that gets spent in OKC (conv business).
  4. They will continue to revisit the site, but they will put priority to sites that have the best proximity to existing hotels and Bricktown.
  5. New slogan for the river that rhymes: "We used to mow it, now we row it."
  6. The 2004 hotel/motel tax successfully been bonded out for all the horse facilities, but not the expo center.
  7. Cornett says that there will be multiple future events to promote the initiative as well, in the future.
  8. The city would own the white water facility, but there would probably be an RFP for an operator. The cashflow would be sufficient to pay for the operations, same as with the Bricktown Ballpark and the Ford Center.
  9. Cornett mentioned that the streetcar system would, at 5-6 miles long, be the longest streetcar system in the nation. (Not sure about that one.)
There will be another Breakthrough luncheon on Oct. 29th in the Petroleum Club focused around the new downtown park. Margaret Mary Jones with Hargreaves will be there to talk about the new park that she designed and how it will be a unique opportunity for OKC, Oklahoma, and really a unique place in the world. Supposedly.

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