Bass Pro Shops are the business that started it all. We're talking about Broken Arrow's expansion. Now, the city has reached the 100 thousand residents mark, which opens up even more opportunities for development. A 25-million dollar hotel and conference center are the latest goals for business leaders with an eye always on the future.There's already so much energy here. There are restaurants and shopping plus two hotels and now there's a possibility of a third. " Oh the possibilities here are tremendous," say Wes Smithwick, President & CEO of the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce. Wes Smithwick shows us around what could be the next big development in broken arrow. It would be a conference center and hotel."We actually have a shortage of quality meeting space here today. People cannot have a meeting here in Broken Arrow today unless it's done in a school space or a community center," adds Smithwick.This was supposed to happen several years ago with the blessing of voters but the economy tanked. Here's what helping move the project forward, Broken Arrow reached the 100 thousand population mark which means something to convention marketers and planners. The second thing that's happened is the economy has improved in Broken Arrow. "We had a flight safety 75-million dollar contract alone to build flight simulators. L3 got an 18-million dollar contract to build advanced battlefield electronics.Broken Arrow is looking at between a 120-150 room upper end hotel with 25 to 35 thousand square feet of flexible conference space. Residents and business owners want to keep the money and people here. These plans make it possible."People live here cause its a wonderful city. Go into Tulsa to work and spend tax dollars there. Be great if we had this to keep em here," says Debra Wimpee, Broken Arrow Business Owner and Resident.By the end of the summer, Broken Arrow leaders are expected to evaluate the proposals its received. It's already moving forward with the continuation of a road that serves this area.
KTUL ABC 8 provides local and national news, sports, weather and notice of community events in Tulsa, Oklahoma and surrounding towns including Broken Arrow, Owasso, Claremore, Jenks, Bixby, Coweta, Muskogee, Westport, Beggs, Okmulgee, Council Hill, Henryetta, Skiatook, Collinsville, and Bartlesville.