WELCOMING VISITORS: Tulsa County?s Expo Square is becoming a national attraction for various events, which is bringing additional funds into Tulsa County as well as the city of Tulsa. From left are Tulsa County Commissioner Fred Perry, Expo Square Marketing and Fair Manager Amanda Blair and Expo Square Chief Executive Officer Mark Andrus. They are standing in front of the new Central Park Hall, where an event is taking place.
By TERRY A. SIMONSON
Expo Square has turned into one of the premier event centers in the nation. Since the completion of Central Park Hall, the Exchange Center, and the Culinary Training Center, these new buildings have provided Expo Square the necessary facilities to attract new business to Tulsa. This dynamic combination has enabled Expo Square to attract over 50 new events through the end of 2009.
Beyond the agricultural events, Expo Square is now home to the National Agility Championship, the Career Tech Trade Show, the Finals, the Oklahoma Wedding Show, the Cox Home and Garden Show, the Tulsa County Convention, the Breeders Invitational, Chili Bowl, Bike Competitions, the Red Dirt Street King Car Show, and Honda Wing Ding 31 to name just a few.
In addition, the newly renovated Sports Grill that contains 10 jumbo HD screens provides a great entertainment venue for all types of sports fans and with the food service under the management of the highly acclaimed Expo Serve, the Sports Grill has turned into a great place for citizens and visitors alike.
Past economic impact studies by the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce have estimated an economic impact of approximately $130 million dollars annually. And, with many of these events and sponsors booking for years into the future, this economic impact will continue to support the Tulsa area. This impact in turn helps the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County with sales tax collections and hotel/motel tax collections to support vital government services.
?We have a unique opportunity to provide our community with quality entertainment and educational venues while also maintaining our agricultural roots, which will yield great results for the citizens of Tulsa County,? says Mark Andrus, Expo Square .
County Commissioner Fred Perry, who also serves as the Chairman of the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority that oversees the operation of Expo Square says, ?We have been working to improve revenues while decreasing expenses and maintaining the standard of service our clients have been accustomed to in the past. We want to ensure that we are providing a safe, entertaining and educational environment, and build on the positive economic impact Expo Square provides the Tulsa metro area.?
Many of the new facilities at Expo Square are ideally suited for large parties, events, receptions, dinners, and program entertainment. And with the magnificent food service of Expo Serve under the management of Sig Brown and his state-of-the-art kitchen facilities , it is hoped many business, organizations, and families will think of Expo Square for their next special event.
The author is Director of Development and Governmental Affairs and Public Information Officer for Tulsa County.