Sand Springs Voters To Decide On Hike In Motel Tax For The American Statue
SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma - Discussion about building "The American" statue has returned to Green Country. "The American" is a 21-story American Indian warrior.
On Tuesday, the City of Sand Springs hopes to increase the hotel-motel tax. If it passes, a portion of the money will go towards building "The American."
It's a monument that's expected to be bigger and better than Lady Liberty.
"It's more than just Sand Springs and it's more than just northeastern Oklahoma, the Tulsa metroplex. It's the state of Oklahoma and the whole central region of the United States," said Rocky Rogers, Sand Springs City Manager.
The sculpture is a 271-foot tall American Indian warrior with a bald eagle landing on his forearm.
In 2004, the statue was planned to overlook Tulsa. When that fell through, the City of Sand Springs thought this is the perfect opportunity to boost its economy.
"You'd have to consider all the hotels, the other peripheral type businesses that would come and follow something like that," said Rocky Rogers.
Rogers says voters have the option of raising the hotel-motel tax from 5 to 7-percent. The extra money, along with private funds will help build the multi-million dollar monument.
The city is still working out where the statue will go. Rogers says 300 to 400 acres are needed.
"You'd be able to go up inside the statue and have a visual from the statue similar to what you have at the Statue of Liberty," said Rocky Rogers.
We talked to the Best Western motel manager in Sand Springs, he didn't want to go on camera, but said if the tax increase will be beneficial, then he's for it.
However, he really wants to know whether the statue will bring more people and more money to Sand Springs.
Rogers seems to think so. He says a study estimates one-and-a-half million people will visit the statue year after year.
"Folks flying in to Tulsa International Airport, folks driving in on our highways, riding buses, that's huge for the economy," said Rocky Rogers.
If increase is approved, the earliest construction would start is next fall. If it's not, the city vows to find another way to build "The American."