More changes and improvements planned for the Tulsa County fairgrounds

Wednesday, October 1st 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Visitors to the Tulsa State Fair are enjoying the many improvements made at the fairgrounds and Expo Square.

There are millions of dollars in improvements still ahead at the fairgrounds, and News on 6 consumer reporter Rick Wells tell us long time vendors are worried the changes may ruin their business.

“Will folks who have been coming here for years know where to find us?" Mike Pruznick and his wife Patty are regulars at the Tulsa State Fair; this is their 13th year. Their company has been in this same corner of the Trade Center building for 24 years.

The master plan for Expo Square calls for the removal of the Trade Center building, the regular vendors will be moved somewhere else. Expo Square head man Denny Tuttle says the changes may not come until after next year's fair but vendors are already worried about business. "We may be more off the beaten path."

And many have heard they're headed for a new exhibit hall created under the grandstands at the racetrack. "And I guess you've got to show the people you’re gonna move over here. They're gonna have traffic. That's got to be their first question. It would be mine.” It already is.

Tuttle says they are working on a plan to move the east side entrance to the Fair to an area nearer the grandstand to create traffic for that new exhibit hall. There are other changes ahead many of them paid for by funds from the new Vision 2025 plan.

Exhibitors like the Pruznicks just hope when the dust settles; a couple of decades of regular customers will still be able to find them. "We've actually done pictures of kids, we did them as a child now we're doing their kid's pictures."

Rick says the Trade Center is not the only building to bite the dust. The Exchange Center, the red brick home of the flea market, will be replaced by a new 100,000 square foot exhibit building. It should be ready for the 2005 Fair.