Prevue asked Robin O’Connor, Director of Sales & Services, Oklahoma City CVB, her thoughts on Eco/Adventure Trends.
Q: Are there any fun cultural venues that promote eco-awareness in the destination with group space?
A: “We have a spectacular community garden right in the middle of downtown Oklahoma City. The Myriad Botanical Gardens & Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory underwent a massive $40 million facelift in 2011 and opened with a fresh, new experience for visitors to and citizens of Oklahoma City. The grounds are packed with different types of foliage and flowers, while the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory (or “The Tube” as we call it) is home to more than 2,000 varieties of plants! Meeting space is available in The Tube as well as several other spaces around the 17-acre Gardens. The brand new Myriad Botanical Gardens restaurant space has stunning views of downtown Oklahoma City.”
Q: What types of group experiences are available that promote a healthy lifestyle?
A: “Our most unique opportunity for groups would be an afternoon at Rocktown Climbing Gym. Rocktown is housed in an old grain silo on the southern edge of downtown Oklahoma City and overlooks the Oklahoma River. You can climb inside the silo or head outside for a more adventurous climb with stunning views. Group packages include all the equipment you would need and instruction. They also have team-building challenges for groups of any size.”
Q: What are some popular outdoor/eco group activities in your destination?
A: “The most popular outdoor activities for groups visiting Oklahoma City is spending time down in the Boathouse District along the Oklahoma River. What’s special about this space is that it is right on the southern edge of downtown and not more than 5 minutes from any downtown hotel. To get on the water, groups can head to the Chesapeake Boathouse to rent kayaks or jump in a dragon boat (they can hold up to 20 people!). You can also rent bicycles and take a ride down the trails…go all 13 miles if your heart desires!”
Q: What are some popular farm-to-fork options for groups?
A: “Oklahoma City is seeing a huge push for local, Oklahoma-grown options when it comes to dining…both grabbing a bite and sitting down at a white table cloth. One of the most notable is Nonna’s Ristoranté & Bar located in the Bricktown Entertainment District. The owner, Avis, was one of the first to open up shop in Bricktown during the revival of the area in the late 90s. At that time, Avis also began Cedar Springs Farms to grow produce to be used in her restaurant and makes every effort possible to buy from local farmers and supplies. Plus, they have a fantastic chocolate chip cookie baked right there in their on-site bakery!”