By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Tulsa's newest convention center is set to host its first event this weekend. The Cherokee Casino Resort has expanded its convention center and is now one of the options organizations have for planning conventions.
There are several locations in Tulsa for conventions, but you might ask is there a demand for all of this convention space?
"It's really about the facility," said David Stewart with Cherokee Nation Enterprises.
Convention hot spots are all about the facility. From Vegas to New York, businesses and organizations look for the best place to hold events. And, Tulsa seems to be thriving with convention locations.
"I think Tulsa's perfectly positioned for it. We have a multitude of different kinds types and sizes of facilities that are available to different groups," said Suzann Stewart with the Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Tulsa Convention Center is expanding its facility to attract conventions and meetings downtown. The Renaissance Hotel and the Spirit Bank Event Center provide many locations from which to choose.
"We're centrally located. We're very close to the airport. It's about having this kind of fun all in one place," said David Stewart with Cherokee Nation Enterprises.
"The look of it is going to be really nice and upscale. And, with the renovations we are doing inside the facility with the added ballroom, I think will help bring new conventions here," said Jason Martin, Project Manager for the Tulsa Convention Center.
"The restaurants, the entertainment, the nightclubs we have available really make us different from most of the places in town," said David Stewart with Cherokee Nation Enterprises.
The Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa has an annual fundraiser. This year it's at the Cherokee Casino.
"It's supposed to be smoke free and it's new and beautiful. So we wanted to have it out here," said Carmelita Skeeter with the Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa. "We love the Renaissance. But, we just wanted to make a change."
The recession seems to be the only glitch for Tulsa's convention centers.
"The one thing we are seeing is planners are postponing decision making to some extent. They are not signing contracts as early as they used to," said Suzann Stewart with the Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau.
And, the calendars are booking up. Tulsa's central location is attractive as are the lower prices compared to bigger cities.
"They are continuing to look for value. The best bang for their buck and the highest quality for their dollars," said Suzann Stewart with the Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Cherokee Casino says its convention center is booked through November and they do not think the bookings will dwindle.
The renovated Tulsa Convention Center is set to open in 2010.