If you haven’t thought about holding your next meeting in Oklahoma City, now may be the perfect time. Recently, we caught up with the destination experts at Visit Oklahoma City to find out what’s new in the destination and hear about what meeting planners think of holding a meeting in their destination. Take a look at the video from fellow meeting planner Rick Adams, Chief of Paralympic Sport and NGB Organizational Development with United States Olympic Committee and read below about new developments in Oklahoma City!
What’s the latest news, developments or events in your destination that you’d like to share with planners?
It’s hardly exaggerating to say Oklahoma City will soon be a brand new city from a meetings perspective.
New Convention Center: Construction will begin next spring on a completely new convention center, set to open in 2020. The center will have 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 35,000-square-foot ballroom and 50,000 square feet of additional space. Directly adjacent to the new convention center will be a new 600-room Convention Center headquarter hotel from Omni Hotels & Resorts.
New Downtown Park: Directly west of the Convention Center will be a 70-acre, fully programmed park that will connect downtown OKC to the shores of the Oklahoma River. Construction began last month on a 40-acre section across from the new Convention Center and will be completed in 2019, with the lower 30-acre portion set to open in 2021. The park will provide visitors with a variety of recreation activities, including concerts, walking/biking/running trails, picnic sites, youth sports fields, play areas, interactive water features and outdoor education opportunities.
New Streetcar System: The park, Convention Center and Convention Center headquarter hotel will all be linked to attractions, dining and nightlife in districts around downtown by a new streetcar system. The tracks are being installed now, and the whole six-mile system should be operational by November 2018.
New Boathouse District: One recently completed project is Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District, home to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site for Canoe/Kayak, and its $45.2 million whitewater rafting and kayaking center, which opened in May 2016. It’s the only urban rafting and kayaking course in the world is walking distance from downtown hotels, OKC’s Bricktown Entertainment District and the Cox Convention Center. Attendees can spend the day on the Oklahoma River enjoying a day filled with team building activities including canoeing, kayaking, ropes courses, zip lining and whitewater rafting.
With so many developments recently completed or opening soon, you can see why answers to the question of “what’s new in Oklahoma City?” become a little long-winded. Oklahoma City has earned a bit of reputation for these kinds of projects, with more than $5 billion of public and private investment in quality-of-life projects and improvements happening over the past two decades. “New” is what we do around here, and the best is yet to come.