Oklahoma City has just upped its meetings game in a big way, according to the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, which last week announced two major developments that promise to elevate the city's standing among meeting professionals.
First, the city on Friday hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new convention center. Scheduled to open in 2020, the all-new, $288 million Oklahoma City Convention Center will boast 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 30,000-square-foot ballroom and 45,000 square feet of meeting space, including 27 individual meeting rooms across three levels.
"This is a great day for Oklahoma City," said Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau President Mike Carrier. "This totally new convention center marks a significant milestone in OKC's commitment to the meetings and convention industry."
The new convention center will be located adjacent to a new 70-acre park and a new headquarters hotel, scheduled to open in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Operated by Omni, the latter will have 600 guest rooms, six restaurants and bars, and over 50,000 square feet of meeting space. The former, meanwhile, will sport a lake, a café and nature walks.
All three new additions -- the convention center, the park and the headquarters hotel -- will connect to major attractions and neighborhoods via a new six-mile streetcar system that will be operational by December 2018.
"This is the only totally new build convention center underway in the United States," Carrier continued. "Once the new center, the Omni headquarter hotel, the new Scissortail Park and the OKC Streetcar are all complete in 2020, Oklahoma City will be a completely new destination in the south central U.S. for meetings of all sizes."
Which leads to the city's second development: To promote the new and improved Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched a new website, MeetInOKC.com, to keep meeting professionals apprised of convention center progress and to serve as a guide for planners and attendees who are unfamiliar with the destination.
Concluded Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau Vice President of Sales Dennis Johnston, "Meeting planners are going to be wowed by Oklahoma City's new offerings."