Tulsans Thanked for NCAA Job Well Done

President and CEO, Tulsa Metro Chamber

GREAT CROWDS: The beautiful BOK Center in downtown Tulsa was a comfortable venue for the games.

GTR Newspapers photo

It is not often that I get to publicly acknowledge and thank the staff at the Tulsa Metro Chamber for the hard work and positive results for this city they produce every day. More times than not, we complete one successful project, successfully lobby one legislative issue or host a tremendous event for Tulsa only to move directly on to the next project, issue or event without taking pause to appreciate what our work has done for this great city.

Thus, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to thank two extremely lean and hardworking programs of the Tulsa Metro Chamber: our convention and visitors bureau, VisitTulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission.

There were several partners we worked with to ensure the success of the recently-hosted Basketball Tournament, and these two programs worked diligently to lead those efforts and create a truly memorable experience for Tulsans and all those who visited.

I also want to echo the recent public thanks given from Steve Bradshaw, senior executive vice president of Bank of Oklahoma and chair of VisitTulsa, to:

• The Tulsa Sports Commission and VisitTulsa staffs led by Ray Hoyt who worked with our private business owners, media partners, and community partners such as staff and volunteers at Tulsa International Airport to make our guests feel welcome, informed and most of all enjoy their stay in our great city;

• The University of Tulsa and their athletic department. Under the direction of Bubba Cunningham and Nick Salis, TU served as the host university and worked closely with the before and during the tournament to ensure game-day operations went off smoothly and as planned;

• The staff at the Center, under the direction of John Bolton and Jeff Nickler, clearly made a great impression on the tournament organizers with the incredible facility and well organized onsite support;

• The city of Tulsa, public works officials, Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Tulsa City Council members were instrumental in providing street banners and for the safety and transport of all our guests from the players to the visitors. We could not have put on as great a showing without their support;

• Our hospitality partners, like Michael Frimmel, president of the Tulsa Hotel and Lodging Association, at all the area restaurants, hotels, venues, attractions and entertainment districts who provided a shining example of what makes Tulsa great – our friendly and helpful people.

• The local media for their continuous coverage of the tournament from planning phase to event weekend. They kept our out-of-town visitors informed. Every outlet helped the city communicate one message, which made a clear impact by informing locals as to the significance of this event and making it easy for guests to find the information they needed, allowing them to feel at ease and enjoy their stay in Tulsa.

And finally, thanks also goes to you, Tulsa. Your excitement about and support of this tournament from planning phase to execution was phenomenal, but most of all you were great ambassadors of Tulsa to our guests. I have lived in several communities throughout the South in various tenures at chambers of commerce and Tulsa has a spark I’ve yet to find anywhere else. Tulsa has a list of stats we can boast about, including our low cost of living, entrepreneurial status, livable communities and charitable records, and it all stems from you. Because of you, we are confident that when we are eligible to host the Tournament again, or any national sporting event for that matter, we will have a big competitive advantage.

Updated 04-25-2011

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