Census reveals double-barreled boost for OKC

发表: Tuesday, August 17, 2021 By: 凯瑟琳·麦克纳特 来源: 日记记录

17.4% leap in 俄克拉荷马城’s population over the past decade proves the city is “doing things right,” Mayor David Holt said Monday.

“Population growth is the ultimate measure of a city’s actions. Beyond that benefit, the other benefit is that success tends to beget success,霍尔特说. “Once you’re making this kind of progress, it snowballs.”

The momentum will bring more entrepreneurs, 越来越多的雇主, more events and more retail to the city, 他说.

Census 2020 numbers released last week show 俄克拉荷马城 is the sixth fastest-growing city among the top 25 largest cities by population. Its 101,055 new residents account for 49% of the entire state growth since 2010.

“The challenge is obviously infrastructure,霍尔特说. “With the investments in the 2017 bond, the funding for additional police officers, 图4, and the creation of the RTA (Regional Transportation Authority of Central Oklahoma), hopefully we’re staying ahead of it. But I think that’s something our community will have to continue monitoring.”

俄克拉荷马城 now has 681,054 residents and is one of only 14 American cities that gained at least 100,000人.

“One is not usually surprised by Census data, but today’s news was a bombshell for those of us who follow this topic. The official 2020 count exceeded the most recent estimate by 18,740 people,” Holt tweeted Thursday.

The next day he followed with this tweet: “Census analysis continues & I’ve got a doozy… 俄克拉荷马城 is now the 22nd-LARGEST CITY in the United States, having been 31st in the 2010 Census. 自2010年以来, OKC jumped Milwaukee, 巴尔的摩, 路易斯维尔, 孟菲斯, 底特律, 拉斯维加斯, 波特兰, 波士顿 & 埃尔帕索. 恭喜!”

Not only is 俄克拉荷马城 a place where people want to live, it’s becoming a destination for visitors.

A new SmartAsset study compared 32 of the largest U.S. cities with at least 100 hotels to identify the 最好的城市 to host a conference as industries are returning to in-person formats following 18 months of virtual gatherings. The study analyzed 10 metrics in four categories: hotels and dining, 可购性, travel accessibility, and safety and COVID-19 impact.

俄克拉荷马城 came in sixth best, due in large part to its average room rate (about $139 per night) and the lowest average cost of a three-course dinner for two ($45, which is tied with Tucson, 亚利桑那州).

The new $288 million 俄克拉荷马城 Convention Center is another plus.

“I think just being a fast-growing city leaping into the top 25 demonstrates this is a place worth paying attention to and visiting,霍尔特说. “三十年前, a group of people being told they were going to a convention in 俄克拉荷马城 likely would have groaned. Now, they’re intrigued and want to see what all the fuss is about.”

Convention Center General Manager Al 罗哈斯说, “俄克拉荷马城 is in that sweet spot. It’s all put together for meeting planners.”

Critical to attracting national conferences is getting the word out that 俄克拉荷马城 is not what it was 10 years ago, 罗哈斯说.

Bookings for conferences continue to “ebb and flow, but we’re starting to get a good pace,” 他说. Concerns about the COVID-19 spike caused Epic Charter Schools to postpone an event scheduled earlier this month, 他说.

The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association opened its three-day conference Monday. OIGA officials expect the event will draw nearly 3,000年供应商, visitors and guest speakers to downtown 俄克拉荷马城.

The annual Oklahoma State School Boards Association conference will be Aug. 26-30. It usually draws about 2,000 attendees, Communications Director Christy Watson said. It’s too early to tell if the growing number of COVID-19 cases will affect attendance, s他说.

September bookings also are for Oklahoma organizations, but in October the National Association of Royalty Owners has scheduled a four-day convention and the facility will host USA Softball’s annual council meeting for six days.

罗哈斯说 the Convention Center could benefit from large organizations that normally draw 20,000 or 30,000人 but are opting to break that down into several regional meetings.

Staffing continues to be a struggle after hospitality workers were “displaced (due to the pandemic) in a very painful way,罗哈斯说. “It was already a very tough job. … Getting people to come back is hard.”

This story originally ran on the JournalRecord.com.