• Oklahoma City Convention Center Project Gains Traction

     
    POSTED March 19, 2017
     

The Oklahoma City Council has approved the preliminary report for the new $288 million downtown Oklahoma City Convention Center. Oklahoma City and Populous have been working together since 2010 to build a new convention center through the Metropolitan Area Projects 3, which is a 1-cent, self-funded sales tax initiative that was passed in 2009 by Oklahoma City voters.

The convention center is anticipated to open in 2020 and will be located on the south end of Oklahoma City’s downtown district directly adjacent to the Chesapeake Energy Arena and the 70-acre downtown park. It will offer a 30,000-plus-square-foot ballroom, 200,000 square feet of exhibit space and 45,000 square feet of meeting space with 27 meeting rooms in the three-level complex. Informational meeting spaces will be available in an adjacent pre-function space outside the meeting rooms. Eighteen loading docks and two drive-in ramps on the first level will provide easy load-in to the four exhibit hallways.

The interior will feature earthy tones carrying through the exterior. Interactive wayfinding will be found throughout the convention center for guests to effortlessly locate the center’s assets that are available to them.

“The approval of the preliminary report gets Oklahoma City closer to attracting new meetings and conventions to Oklahoma City,” says Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau President Mike Carrier. “This is a convention center the city can be proud of, because they have invested in it and their community. The preliminary report approval has us moving in the right direction and on to the next steps in the final design and requesting bids from contractors,”

The new reality for in-person meetings and events is coming into focus. While gatherings were cancelled or went virtual during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, states are now slowly beginning to reopen and move toward a return to in-person gatherings. Associated Luxury Hotels International, or ALHI, published safety recommendations for planners, hotels, airlines and more, as society begins to formulate safety guidelines for travel, tourism, meetings and events.  

 

The U.S. Travel Association has called the current moment the “Great Travel Depression,” in light of the economic effects resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Due to COVID-19, non-essential travel was, or has been, banned for months. Long anticipated trips and in-person gatherings were canceled and people have adjusted to the new normal: staying at home and meeting over Zoom. However, states have been slowly lifting restrictions, and non-essential travel will soon be happening across the country again. However, some may not be as comfortable with the thought of traveling as they were before the pandemic.