Convention center boosts Woodward economy

Community leaders expect the new Woodward Convention Center to help strengthen the economy in areas not directly related to the energy industry.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: August 17, 2012
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Like many communities throughout western Oklahoma, Woodward is experiencing an economic boom sparked by the energy industry.

The landscape surrounding the northwest Oklahoma town is dotted with both wind turbines and oil and natural gas wells.

And like many communities throughout western Oklahoma, Woodward has experienced boom and bust cycles before, so officials are hoping to use some of the money coming in today to invest in projects that can create long-term value for other sectors of the economy.

The 29,000-square-foot, $7 million Woodward Convention Center that opened in March is a key step in that effort.

“The demand for that facility was recognized more than a decade ago, and has only increased as we have focused on tourism and with the energy play going on here with both traditional natural gas and wind,” City Manager Alan Riffel said. “Having a place for all types of events has shown to be very beneficial to the community.”

One of the convention center's early tenants was last week's inaugural Tri-State Oil and Gas Convention. About 300 people from throughout the region attended the two-day conference.

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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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