The same week that Visit Omaha unveiled a $290 million plan for a new convention district, less than 500 miles south, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau (OKC CVB) announced the ground breaking of its all-new Oklahoma City Convention Center—just one part of a major revamp for the city.
The June 15 groundbreaking ceremony brought together representatives from the OKC CVB, local civic leaders and representatives from the architecture and design firms in charge of bringing the $288 million project to fruition. Plans for the new convention center include a 200,000-sf exhibit hall, 30,000-sf ballroom and an additional 45,000 sf of meeting space.
But that’s not all. The convention center is scheduled to debut in 2020 at the same time as its headquarter hotel from Omni Hotel & Resorts. Located north of the convention center and connected by a skywalk, the hotel will feature 605 rooms as well as 50,000 sf of its own meeting space.
And these two openings aren’t the only ones changing the cityscape. The new 70-acre Scissortail Park is being built adjacent to the convention center and is set to open next year. All three will be connected to downtown’s attractions, dining and nightlife via the new 6-mile OKC Streetcar system, which should be operational this December.
“This is the only totally new build convention center underway in the United States,” says Mike Carrier, president for the OKC CVB. “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.”
To keep meeting planners up-to-date on the construction action, the OKC CVB also launched a new website: MeetInOKC.com.