Ties strengthen between Oklahoma River, downtown

The Oklahoma River hasn't moved, nor has downtown. But the distance between the two is without a doubt getting smaller.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: February 5, 2013
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With construction well under way on the SandRidge Pavilion, which will include a zip-line ride, and design work proceeding on a MAPS 3 white water rapids venue, the river likely will become one of the city's top visitor destinations.

And that's where the connection to downtown and Bricktown becomes essential to the area's future. The river is drawing thousands of visitors already with the popular regattas, drag boat races and other events.

Restaurants, shops and hotels ordinarily would set up in and around these venues. But shoreline space is dedicated to the rowing and water sport venues, and little room will be left for ancillary commercial development.

More connection is needed — and will take place with development of the new downtown boulevard. And when it's all done — not that far off in the future — a new generation will grow up never knowing a time when the Oklahoma River wasn't a part of their downtown.


by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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