1,000 People Apply For Second Year Of 'Tulsa Remote'

Tuesday, October 29th 2019, 7:56 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

More than 200 people from across the country and the world will soon call Tulsa home.

A program called "Tulsa Remote" pays people $10,000 to move to Tulsa and work remotely for one year.

The application process opened Tuesday for the program's expanded second year. In just one day, 1,000 people have applied for the chance to uproot their lives and move to Tulsa.

About 75 people participated in the program in 2019. Many use their free membership at 36 Degrees North to get their work done.

When they're not at 36 Degrees North, Megan Villanueva and her boyfriend Mike Bodulow are out exploring Tulsa. They recently went to Oktoberfest and the Philbrook Museum of Art.

“We're actually seeing a ballet on Thursday,” Villanueva said.

The couple has lived in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. They've been in Tulsa since June.

"We never expected to end up in Tulsa, and now we hope we never have to leave Tulsa,” Bodulow said.

"The feedback has been incredible. I believe the vast majority of people who came through the program will stay past the year,” Tulsa Remote Executive Director Aaron Bolzle said.

Bolzle said some are already becoming full-time Tulsans. He said out of 75 participants this year, at least 12 have decided to buy homes.

What makes Tulsa stand out, Villanueva and Bodulow said, goes beyond having things to do around town.

Bodulow’s 30th birthday happened to be on the same day as a group lunch for everyone in the program, and a special moment made him feel like he wasn't just in Tulsa to work, but to be a part of a community.

"Within six weeks of moving to Tulsa I had 80 people singing me Happy Birthday, which has never happened to me in my life,” Bodulow said.

Villanueva and Bodulow are looking forward to welcoming more out-of-towners, who just might become Oklahomans by choice.

"I think the warmth that we've received and the connections, we just want to return that favor and really just be an advocate for how awesome Tulsa is,” Villanueva said.

If you know someone out-of-state who you think would be interested in the program, click here for the application.

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