Oklahoma City trip was not a prize on “Wheel of Fortune,” and that's a bummer

Despite a cascade of accolades, Oklahoma City is not among the Top 25 Travelers Choice Destinations. It surely would be in the Top 50.
by Richard Mize Modified: April 5, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: April 5, 2014

WH-T - B-MM-R.

Three words. An expression. Go ahead. Buy some vowels. Two A’s, a U and an E will do.

Can you solve the puzzle?

“What a bummer.”

A trio of bummers, in fact, socked me Friday like so many misturns of the wheel — the “Wheel of Fortune.”

First: A friend reported on Facebook: “Very cool that Wheel of Fortune's trip prize package was a trip to Oklahoma City. It seems Oklahoma City has made it as a destination hot spot!”

Bummer: I missed it!

Second: I found a publicist for the show and shot her some questions:

“I did not see it myself. Can you tell me what places, hotel, etc., were mentioned? What all the prize entails? How did this prize come about? (Who locally would be a contact?) Has OKC been a trip prize before? How are they selected? The contestant name, age if you have it, and hometown. If you have a link to the show, or to this clip, that would be cool.”

Bummer: An hour or so later, she wrote back, “Oklahoma City was not a prize package. The Oklahoma City Renaissance Convention Center Hotel & Spa was called out/plugged as they had provided accommodations during a recent Wheelmobile event in town. Thanks for your interest; next time! Best, Sarah.” (Wheelmobile: mobile audition).

Third: Surprised and disappointed, I thought after a minute or so: Did I really get that pumped from thinking Oklahoma City was a prize trip on “Wheel of Fortune”? What is this? Sallisaw? I haven’t watched the show in years.

Bummer: Yes. Yes, I did. And I was slightly embarrassed.

“Top” lists, accolades, positive national press and positive national statistics have cascaded over us the past half-decade or so, as the country suffered through the recession and Oklahoma City held its own or improved — in housing, retail, multifamily, energy and industrial, among other sectors.

And: Yes, Bricktown is cool. Yes, there is the Thunder. Downtown teems. The arts are alive.

But, to be honest, in retrospect, “Wheel of Fortune”? It did sound like at least a little stretch.

Is Oklahoma City that “happening” of a place? Someone commented on the Facebook thread: “I don’t think so. ... They need to give away trips and prizes. Those are given to game shows often but not always for free so they get free ad time. Unless you live in Tulsa, or perhaps Arkansas, I’m guessing a trip to OKC, as nice as it is, probably isn’t in a top five or ten places to vacation.”

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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