Oklahoma Expo Center

Oklahoma Expo Center

Recreation vehicles currently fill the parking lot of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center. Expo operations manager Michael Jackson expects more than $19,000 in lot rental fees from hosting the Good Sam RV rally this week. Meanwhile, board members for the Expo Center are discussing repairs and upgrades to parking lot.

Community Development and Planning Director Justin Erickson and City Engineer John Krywicki said the parking lot at the Expo Center would cost $1 million to resurface. The first option, including extensive landscaping to the entire parking lot and a grand entrance to the show barn complete with a decorative statue, would increase the cost to $1.4 million.

The Expo Center parking lot was listed as the first priority in the capital improvement projects developed by city staff and commissioners.“It’s amazing to be here and to see how many RVs are here,” City manager and board member, Brian McDougal said. “This is what I call economic development. We are currently working on a study to see how these conventions directly help our community.”

McDougal said the Good Sams rally attracted 300 RVs, with the larger rallies attracting more than 900 RVs.

“These are people eating in our restaurants and shopping at our stores,” McDougal said. “We have to be thinking about this facility over the next 20 to 30 years. Some of these plans would only add 20 percent to the maintenance cost to beautify the property. This can be done in phases and will bring people into the city.”

Jackson said the Expo received $45,000 from lot rental fees during the FMCA rally, that is scheduled to return to Shawnee in 2012.“This facility adds to our overall economic development,” McDougal said. “We want a facility that everyone will want to come back to. We have that now, anything we do will only improve the facility.”

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