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Business thrives at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City

As a major facility expansion and upgrade project comes to an end, Oklahoma City’s State Fair Park managers say they have secured the park’s success for years to come.

BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Modified: April 29, 2012 at 1:15 am •  Published: April 29, 2012
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/articleid/3668847/1/pictures/1701673">Photo - An artist’s rendering shows the proposed Travel & Transportation exhibit hall at State Fair Park. Image provided by Oklahoma State Fair Inc.
An artist’s rendering shows the proposed Travel & Transportation exhibit hall at State Fair Park. Image provided by Oklahoma State Fair Inc.
“Everybody’s reloading; everybody’s after us. We’re in the lead, that’s the good news — but there’s competition all the time.”

Cheering on the park’s success are hundreds of area businesses that enjoy the traffic associated with its events.

Park managers have calculated the attractions translate to $350 million in direct spending impact at these hotels, motels and restaurants.

Munz said the park’s 22 annual equine events alone bring inasmuch as $8.3 million in local sales tax dollars.

This growth, he said, is why voters approved the 2004 tax in the first place.

“They understood the need and benefits of having more tax in this area because of what they would get,” he said.

Affects hotels, motels

Mike Carrier, president of Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, agreed.

Carrier said the expanded facilities at State Fair Park have had a direct impact on the city’s hotel/motel room count.

Since December 2007, the room count in the southwest section of the city, within which the park lies, increased from 5,595 to 6,435.

Citywide, there are 2,300 new rooms for rent in that time, Carrier said.

“We’ve had over the last few years a couple new shows come in, so that has certainly increased the number of rooms nights we’re generating,” Carrier said. “And several of the other shows — most of the long-running shows, the major shows — we have seen some increases in their attendance. What it’s done is solidify our place in the equine world as being the leader, if you will, in facilities.”

Downtown growth

And growth at State Fair Park has been complemented by revitalization of the downtown area, including corporate development and the expansion of the convention center, Carrier said.

Now it’s the city that State Fair Park officials are praising.

The park is set to receive $60 million for its part in the MAPS 3 election in 2009, which will be spent on the new exhibit hall, Allen said. That project is scheduled to be complete by 2015.

“Everybody’s aware of Oklahoma City, what’s happened and what’s going on,” he said. “And it’s not just the state fair — it’s the whole package.”


Read the rest of the story on Oklahoman.com
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To learn more
For more information about State

Fair Park, go to

okstatefair.com or call 948-6704.

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