View Full Version : OKC Vs. Tulsa



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Plutonic Panda
11-09-2014, 05:29 PM
So in attempt to get the OG&E thread back on track, here's a place to discuss which city you think is better. I've already voiced my opinion, so I'm not going to get into to it again.

SomeGuy
11-09-2014, 07:23 PM
I like both cities, although OKC really needs something like Tulsa's Utica Square ( I could spend all day there).

bchris02
11-09-2014, 09:36 PM
People a lot of times forget that OKC's metro is around 25% larger than Tulsa. OKC should be the shining star in the state. People in Tulsa who are jealous of the spotlight OKC has been receiving as of late need to remember that.

Right now OKC is growing and is going full speed ahead. Tulsa is doing well but lacks a real catalyst for strong growth at the moment. It's basically a reversal of the 1980s and 90s when Tulsa was doing very well but OKC was struggling. I think OKC has moved ahead of Tulsa at this point in all but a couple of areas. As have been discussed, Tulsa is still pretty much the center of the state's live music scene. There really isn't even any competition there (yet). Hopefully in the coming years as some new performing venues come online in OKC that begins to change and I think it can. Secondly, I think Tulsa still barely edges out OKC in terms of retail, though that too is changing. What OKC really needs is a strong development to attract new-to-market retailers.

Outside of that though, OKC has pulled ahead of Tulsa in the last five years. If Tulsa got its act together and developed a catalyst for growth they could easily be back in the game. For some reason or another, Tulsa has always pulled well above its weight compared to other cities its size on the national stage.

PhiAlpha
11-09-2014, 09:47 PM
I like both cities, although OKC really needs something like Tulsa's Utica Square ( I could spend all day there).

Hopefully Nichols Hills Plaza + the triangle + Classen Curve + the area between the triangle and Nichols Hills will become something like Utica.

BG918
11-09-2014, 09:59 PM
If Tulsa got its act together and developed a catalyst for growth they could easily be back in the game. For some reason or another, Tulsa has always pulled well above its weight compared to other cities its size on the national stage.

As someone from Tulsa but that also lived in OKC, and really likes both cities, I am curious what Tulsa "getting its act together" would entail. To me the city government (mayor) and business leaders in OKC have been the biggest driver in moving the city forward with big ideas like MAPS and landing the Thunder. For some reason those same bold plans just don't get the same support in Tulsa, whereas in the past (roughly before the mid-90's) it was the opposite.

At one time it appeared Tulsa was on its way to becoming a hub for telecommunications and technology in the 90's until the recession decimated those industries in the early 00's. The city lost thousands of jobs and has struggled to fully recover until recently with energy, aerospace and manufacturing (the three primary industries in Tulsa) doing well. Meanwhile MAPS was staring to pay off at the same time in the early 00's and OKC didn't have the same crushing job losses Tulsa did while also having the meteoric rise of Devon and Chesapeake as well as other energy companies solidifying the city as the #3 American energy hub and the growth of the OUHSC and aerospace at Tinker. Tulsa hasn't had the same dynamics which has lead to slower growth than OKC has experienced.

Both are doing well though now; OKC's economy grew by 3.9% from 2012-2013 while Tulsa's grew by 3.5% outpacing the national average of 1.7% during that period. Metro OKC has been killing it though in population growth with 3.39% change since 2010 while Tulsa has only seen a 1.43% change.

AP
11-09-2014, 10:13 PM
Hopefully Nichols Hills Plaza + the triangle + Classen Curve + the area between the triangle and Nichols Hills will become something like Utica.

I think all three areas together could be better than Utica. Hopefully somethings will start happening there soon.

Plutonic Panda
11-09-2014, 10:51 PM
People a lot of times forget that OKC's metro is around 25% larger than Tulsa. OKC should be the shining star in the state. People in Tulsa who are jealous of the spotlight OKC has been receiving as of late need to remember that.

Right now OKC is growing and is going full speed ahead. Tulsa is doing well but lacks a real catalyst for strong growth at the moment. It's basically a reversal of the 1980s and 90s when Tulsa was doing very well but OKC was struggling. I think OKC has moved ahead of Tulsa at this point in all but a couple of areas. As have been discussed, Tulsa is still pretty much the center of the state's live music scene. There really isn't even any competition there (yet). Hopefully in the coming years as some new performing venues come online in OKC that begins to change and I think it can. Secondly, I think Tulsa still barely edges out OKC in terms of retail, though that too is changing. What OKC really needs is a strong development to attract new-to-market retailers.

Outside of that though, OKC has pulled ahead of Tulsa in the last five years. If Tulsa got its act together and developed a catalyst for growth they could easily be back in the game. For some reason or another, Tulsa has always pulled well above its weight compared to other cities its size on the national stage.Here's the thing though, if OKC was twice the size of Tulsa, than I would understand what you mean, but 25% isn't that much bigger. Tulsa is in a bigger tier than Wichita, and I know I might get some crap for this, but as I really think about it, Tulsa would be in the same tier as OKC in my book. I don't know if you have noticed, but nearly every single retailer that announces a Tulsa or OKC location, announces a location for the other city shortly after. To me that says they view the cities as the same pretty much.

I should also note that I still believe Tulsa could pull ahead of OKC if it really gets its sh!t together. Tulsa right now is a dump, imo, but they could easily experience a major boom and I won't feel different about it until OKC gets a population that is at least twice the size of Tulsa's. Tulsa has some pretty significant safeguards to their economy so that should be noted as well.

As I've said before, I really do not like Tulsa, but I still recognize realities here. I don't know why, but Tulsa just depresses the crap out of me. I hate going there. I'm not going to lie here, I want OKC to flourish and Tulsa not to do as well so we can really grow to become a major city just because this is my hometown and I love OKC. That is the way I feel and if you are from Tulsa and don't like it tough. I have also had many conversations with people from Tulsa that just loooooooove to say things like ''sorry to hear you're from OKC'' or "OKC is becoming a nice little city almost like it is going to catch up with Tulsa. . . it's cute." 99% of the time I just say ok, shake my head, and walk away. When I am in a real city like Dallas, people have nothing but good things to say about OKC. Every once in awhile I get the "what the hell do you do for fun down there" but that is expected at least from some people in a city the size of Dallas.

The point I'm trying to make is that OKC suffered for a long time and we are just now really starting to grow, so don't turn your back to Tulsa like they are some city we've left in the dust. I believe they are still a competitor to OKC and even though they are smaller, I still consider OKC and Tulsa to be in the same rank or tier, but barely. I would also venture to say KC is in a higher tier than OKC is and will be probably for the next 5 years or so.

Plutonic Panda
11-09-2014, 10:59 PM
As someone from Tulsa but that also lived in OKC, and really likes both cities, I am curious what Tulsa "getting its act together" would entail. To me the city government (mayor) and business leaders in OKC have been the biggest driver in moving the city forward with big ideas like MAPS and landing the Thunder. For some reason those same bold plans just don't get the same support in Tulsa, whereas in the past (roughly before the mid-90's) it was the opposite.I can't speak for Bchris, but I think the first thing Tulsa needs to do is fix its downtown streets(like P180 in OKC) and dam the river. The city needs to better support the Pop Culture Museum, which I think would be a smash hit, and look at building light-rail from the airport to downtown. That would be my first step.

Is there anything major being built in Tulsa right now that I'm unaware of? I know they have the Gathering Place underway, which is awesome. They have a Costco, but that's a discount warehouse store, nothing really special. They have a mid-rise casino underway, some outlet shops, and a couple nice office buildings being built out in the suburbs, but I am thinking I am missing something. All in all, that really is not impressive except for the park; I quite honestly think that park will be better than what most cities twice the size of Tulsa has. For some reason, I just feel a new skyscraper is due in Tulsa as well.

HOT ROD
11-09-2014, 11:09 PM
People a lot of times forget that OKC's metro is around 25% larger than Tulsa. OKC should be the shining star in the state. People in Tulsa who are jealous of the spotlight OKC has been receiving as of late need to remember that.

.....

Tulsa has always pulled well above its weight compared to other cities its size on the national stage.

OKC metro is "what?" 1,350,000 or so. Tulsa metro is "what?" 940,000 or so. That makes OKC metro 44% larger (not 25%).

Just for kicks, OKC city is 610,000 or so. Tulsa city is 398,000 or so. That makes OKC 54% larger.

Semantics, yes. But OKC is more than just 25% larger. Which further gives context to why OKC 'should' rightfully so be the state leader and Tulsa should NOT take offense. Both can help the state grow, together, by realizing their strengths.

Plutonic Panda
11-09-2014, 11:21 PM
OKC metro is "what?" 1,350,000 or so. Tulsa metro is "what?" 940,000 or so. That makes OKC metro 44% larger (not 25%).

Just for kicks, OKC city is 610,000 or so. Tulsa city is 398,000 or so. That makes OKC 54% larger.

Semantics, yes. But OKC is more than just 25% larger. Which further gives context to why OKC 'should' rightfully so be the state leader and Tulsa should NOT take offense. Both can help the state grow, together, by realizing their strengths.I believe OKC's metro is now a 1.4 million.

BG918
11-09-2014, 11:25 PM
OKC metro is "what?" 1,350,000 or so. Tulsa metro is "what?" 940,000 or so. That makes OKC metro 44% larger (not 25%).

Just for kicks, OKC city is 610,000 or so. Tulsa city is 398,000 or so.

OKC metro is much larger and has been for as long as I can remember. When was the last time the Tulsa metro was actually larger than the OKC metro?

Comparing city populations is pretty pointless. Tulsa is only 198 sq miles while OKC is 621 sq miles. A more useful comparison would be OKC city limits 610,613 to Tulsa County at 587 sq miles with 622,409.

BG918
11-09-2014, 11:28 PM
I believe OKC's metro is now a 1.4 million.

That is the CSA at 1,390,835 (2013). The Tulsa CSA is 1,131,458 (2013).

Plutonic Panda
11-09-2014, 11:31 PM
That is the CSA at 1,390,835 (2013). The Tulsa CSA is 1,131,458 (2013).Ah, I was thinking the MSA for some reason. Is Tulsa combined with Bartlesville? How did their CSA jump? For some reason, I thought it was just shy under a million.

HOT ROD
11-10-2014, 12:33 AM
Yes, Tulsa CSA is combined with Bville AND Muskogee, essentially all of NE Oklahoma except one county I believe. I think it is a bit unfair to include so much; OKC should be able to claim Stillwater in that case.

BG, I think city pop is valid because OKC includes a lot of rural and watershed in its city limits. MOST of the city limits don't have population, so please don't make it out like OKC needs 610 sq miles to get 610,000 people. Nearly all of those 610,000 people live in 244-to-350 square miles or so, giving a density close to Tulsa's and an area that isn't that much larger. Very comparable in this case whereas metro probably not so much.

Just look at the freeway networks, Tulsa's loops are actually significantly larger and more spread out serving the city and it's suburbs better than OKC's, which basically covers the most populated part of OKC city while the city limits extend far beyond and suburbs extend further beyond.

It is nice to have two different, yet strikingly similar cities in one state.

Plutonic Panda
11-10-2014, 12:44 AM
Yes, Tulsa CSA is combined with Bville AND Muskogee, essentially all of NE Oklahoma except one county I believe. I think it is a bit unfair to include so much; OKC should be able to claim Stillwater in that case.

BG, I think city pop is valid because OKC includes a lot of rural and watershed in its city limits. MOST of the city limits don't have population, so please don't make it out like OKC needs 610 sq miles to get 610,000 people. Nearly all of those 610,000 people live in 244-to-350 square miles or so, giving a density close to Tulsa's and an area that isn't that much larger. Very comparable in this case whereas metro probably not so much.

Just look at the freeway networks, Tulsa's loops are actually significantly larger and more spread out serving the city and it's suburbs better than OKC's, which basically covers the most populated part of OKC city while the city limits extend far beyond and suburbs extend further beyond.

It is nice to have two different, yet strikingly similar cities in one state.O wonder how far away we are from being able to claim Stillwater for our CSA.

bchris02
11-10-2014, 05:45 AM
Here's the thing though, if OKC was twice the size of Tulsa, than I would understand what you mean, but 25% isn't that much bigger. Tulsa is in a bigger tier than Wichita, and I know I might get some crap for this, but as I really think about it, Tulsa would be in the same tier as OKC in my book. I don't know if you have noticed, but nearly every single retailer that announces a Tulsa or OKC location, announces a location for the other city shortly after. To me that says they view the cities as the same pretty much.


I agree, but that shouldn't be the case. Tulsa is best compared to Omaha, Albuquerque, Des Moines, and El Paso. OKC should be in a tier above Tulsa. I would make an exception though considering Tulsa pulls above its weight. It really does offer a lot for a metro area under 1 million.

Plutonic Panda
11-10-2014, 05:48 AM
I agree, but that shouldn't be the case. Tulsa is best compared to Omaha, Albuquerque, Des Moines, and El Paso. OKC should be in a tier above Tulsa. I would make an exception though considering Tulsa pulls above its weight. It really does offer a lot for a metro area under 1 million.

I guess you're right, I don't know. OKC really is transforming to the next next tier, it's just hard for me to say if it has officially jumped into the next tier which would be a league in with KC, Jax, and maybe Indianapolis, perhaps that might be a bit of a stretch. What would you say OKC'S peer cities are at this point?

After we surpass those cities, then we might be in a league with Charlotte, SA, Austin, and Portland, but I think that is a decade or two away, and by then, those cities might still be out of our league if the grew faster than we did.

bchris02
11-10-2014, 06:39 AM
I guess you're right, I don't know. OKC really is transforming to the next next tier, it's just hard for me to say if it has officially jumped into the next tier which would be a league in with KC, Jax, and maybe Indianapolis, perhaps that might be a bit of a stretch. What would you say OKC'S peer cities are at this point?

By the numbers, I would say Memphis, Louisville, Jacksonville, Richmond, and Birmingham. I don't include Salt Lake City, Hartford, Buffalo, New Orleans, or Raleigh, which are also within the same 1-1.5 million population range, because they are very different from OKC and can't really be compared. Since the double whammy of urban renewal and the oil crash, OKC has pulled below its weight and is just now starting to act like a city in the tier that it is actually in. Tulsa doesn't belong in the conversation with the above cities.

PhiAlpha
11-10-2014, 07:16 AM
I think all three areas together could be better than Utica. Hopefully somethings will start happening there soon.

Agreed

bchris02
11-10-2014, 07:28 AM
I think all three areas together could be better than Utica. Hopefully somethings will start happening there soon.

Agree. Hopefully whatever is stalled up due to the Glimcher sale resumes soon and we start seeing improvements and retailers announced.

Pete
11-10-2014, 07:41 AM
The best thing for OKC would for Tulsa to become awesome; to up the ante in terms of urban development in particular.

That kind of competition would be a motivator for others to up their game as well.

Plus, what's good for the state is good for OKC.

BG918
11-10-2014, 09:45 AM
In terms of MSA size these are the closest peers for each city:
42. New Orleans
43. Grand Rapids
44. Greenville
45. Memphis
46. OKC
47. Birmingham
48. Richmond
49. Harrisburg
50. Buffalo
51. Rochester
52. Albany
53. Albuquerque
54. Tulsa
55. Fresno
56. Knoxville
57. Dayton
58. El Paso

OKC is nationally in the tier of metros above Tulsa, but regionally is considered a peer metro.

HangryHippo
11-10-2014, 09:54 AM
Meanwhile MAPS was staring to pay off at the same time in the early 00's and OKC didn't have the same crushing job losses Tulsa did while also having the meteoric rise of Devon and Chesapeake as well as other energy companies solidifying the city as the #3 American energy hub and the growth of the OUHSC and aerospace at Tinker.

Just out of curiosity, what is the #2 American energy hub? I'm assuming Houston is #1.

bchris02
11-10-2014, 09:55 AM
I somewhat disagree that what is good for Tulsa is good for OKC. What is good for Tulsa though is good for the state of Oklahoma overall, but there have been times in history when Tulsa has been very successful and OKC hasn't been (and vice versa).

OKC and Tulsa are at just the right distance from each other that its impractical for them to work together in the way that Dallas and Ft Worth or Raleigh and Durham do, but they are close enough where one's success can sometimes come at the expense of the other. If Tulsa was a little farther, like say on the Oklahoma-Missouri border it would be more of a Memphis vs Nashville or Charlotte vs Raleigh relationship in which one doesn't have a great deal of impact on the other. Of course this all may one day change if high-speed rail connects the two cities and shortens the commute time between them.

warreng88
11-10-2014, 10:09 AM
Just out of curiosity, what is the #2 American energy hub? I'm assuming Houston is #1.

Philadelphia maybe?

Bellaboo
11-10-2014, 10:20 AM
Just out of curiosity, what is the #2 American energy hub? I'm assuming Houston is #1.

Actually I think OKC is # 2 American, # 3 though for North America, with Calgary # 2. IIRC.

adaniel
11-10-2014, 10:21 AM
Just out of curiosity, what is the #2 American energy hub? I'm assuming Houston is #1.

I would give Denver the #2 nod, but OKC is definitely a close #3.


Yes, Tulsa CSA is combined with Bville AND Muskogee, essentially all of NE Oklahoma except one county I believe. I think it is a bit unfair to include so much; OKC should be able to claim Stillwater in that case.


It's all based largely on commuter patterns...distance has little to do with it. Don't quote me on this, but if 25% of a county's workforce commutes to the "hub" county, then it is considered part of an MSA, between 15-25% it is considered part of the CSA. Lots of people from Bartlesville, Muskogee, and Tahlequah drive to Tulsa for work...not so much for OKC and Stillwater.

Pete
11-10-2014, 10:21 AM
I somewhat disagree that what is good for Tulsa is good for OKC. What is good for Tulsa though is good for the state of Oklahoma overall, but there have been times in history when Tulsa has been very successful and OKC hasn't been (and vice versa).

The difference has never been as dramatic as people would like to believe.

The two cities are tied pretty closely when it comes to ups and downs.

adaniel
11-10-2014, 10:46 AM
I somewhat disagree that what is good for Tulsa is good for OKC. What is good for Tulsa though is good for the state of Oklahoma overall, but there have been times in history when Tulsa has been very successful and OKC hasn't been (and vice versa).

OKC and Tulsa are at just the right distance from each other that its impractical for them to work together in the way that Dallas and Ft Worth or Raleigh and Durham do, but they are close enough where one's success can sometimes come at the expense of the other. If Tulsa was a little farther, like say on the Oklahoma-Missouri border it would be more of a Memphis vs Nashville or Charlotte vs Raleigh relationship in which one doesn't have a great deal of impact on the other. Of course this all may one day change if high-speed rail connects the two cities and shortens the commute time between them.

If we are talking about superficial nonsense like who gets the first [insert chain restaraunt] or [insert concert or show] then yes they are competitors. Outside of that they are very much interconnected. While OKC is bigger (and the gap is getting larger), they are, as BG918 pointed out, regional peer metros. The CSA population, which is a more accurate measure of market size, are pretty similar.

Just off the top of my head...Devon is in a major joint venture with Tulsa based Cimarex; Williams (Tulsa) just bought Access (OKC), Several aerospace firms in Tulsa have contracts with the FAA Center (OKC), BOK and Midfirst are headquartered in each but do heavy business in their opposite cities. These are just some of the major business connections; not included here are the hundreds of connections amongst smaller companies. Pretty much every law firm, bank, or real estate firm that operates in this state will have at a minimum significant business dealings in both cities. Quite a few will have offices and staff in both as well.

Pete
11-10-2014, 10:53 AM
^

Great points.

Also, Bank of Oklahoma looks to be the anchor tenant in the new Main/Hudson tower.

bchris02
11-10-2014, 10:54 AM
If we are talking about superficial nonsense like who gets the first [insert chain restaraunt] or [insert concert or show] then yes they are competitors. Outside of that they are very much interconnected. While OKC is bigger (and the gap is getting larger), they are, as BG918 pointed out, regional peer metros. The CSA population, which is a more accurate measure of market size, are pretty similar.

I have never been a big fan of using the CSA metric but if that's what businesses use then I can definitely see why Tulsa pulls so far above its weight. It's the same way for Salt Lake City, which has a smaller MSA than OKC but has a massive CSA. It just seems kind of strange to include Muskogee in Tulsa's CSA. Like someone else said, if Tulsa can claim Muskogee, OKC should be able to claim Stillwater or even Lawton.

Swake
11-10-2014, 11:32 AM
I have never been a big fan of using the CSA metric but if that's what businesses use then I can definitely see why Tulsa pulls so far above its weight. It's the same way for Salt Lake City, which has a smaller MSA than OKC but has a massive CSA. It just seems kind of strange to include Muskogee in Tulsa's CSA. Like someone else said, if Tulsa can claim Muskogee, OKC should be able to claim Stillwater or even Lawton.

The distances for each are comparable.

Downtown to downtown:

Shawnee to OKC – 39 miles (but only 31 miles to Midwest City)
Chickasha to OKC - 43 miles (but only 35 miles to Norman) – And Chickasha is in the MSA, not CSA.

Bartlesville to Tulsa - 45 miles (but only 39 miles to Owasso)
Muskogee to Tulsa – 49 miles (but only 37 miles to Broken Arrow)

Stillwater is almost exactly the same distance from both Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Tulsa is actually one mile closer at 63 miles and Tulsa has at least equally tight ties to Stillwater.

Lawton is 88 miles from Oklahoma City, the same distance as the Turner Turnpike.

PhiAlpha
11-10-2014, 11:54 AM
Philadelphia maybe?

It would be Pittsburgh if anything in the Northeast, however even Pittsburgh isn't near the hub that we are. When he says American energy hubs, I assume he is including Canada, in which case Calgary would be number 2. I've seen a few other articles that rank Houston 1, Calgary 2, and OKC 3. I would probably rank them as follows:

1. Houston
2. Calgary
3. OKC
4. Denver
5. Dallas/FTW
6. Tulsa
7. Midland/Odessa
8. Pittsburgh
9. Williston/Minot, ND
10. L.A./Bakersfield, CA
11. Fairbanks/Anchorage, AK
12. New Orleans

Other smaller or less energy focused regional hubs (in no particular order): Gillette, WY; Casper, WY; Billings, MT; Salt Lake City; Roswell/Hobbs/Artesia, NM; Farmington, NM; Cushing, OK (could probably lump in with OKC or Tulsa but it is obviously extremely important as a hub); Tyler, TX; Austin/San Antonio, TX; Lafayette, LA; Shreveport, LA; Evansville, IN; Canonsburg, PA; Charlestown, WV; Edmonton, AB.

I think 5 - 8 and 9 -12 are probably somewhat interchangeable depending on who or when you ask, which part of the energy industry you are looking at, or your general definition of a hub.

Motley
11-10-2014, 12:01 PM
Reading in Wikipedia, it looks like the CSA is based on "commuter ties to" the core area. Not sure many people commute from Lawton to OKC or from Stillwater to either city. Looks like Durant it part of Dallas' CSA, so people must commute from Durant into Dallas metro.

warreng88
11-10-2014, 12:11 PM
It would be Pittsburgh if anything in the Northeast, however even Pittsburgh isn't near the hub that we are. When he says American energy hubs, I assume he is including Canada, in which case Calgary would be number 2. I've seen a few other articles that rank Houston 1, Calgary 2, and OKC 3. I would probably rank them as follows:

1. Houston
2. Calgary
3. OKC
4. Denver
5. Dallas/FTW
6. Tulsa
7. Midland/Odessa
8. Pittsburgh
9. Williston/Minot, ND
10. L.A./Bakersfield, CA
11. Fairbanks/Anchorage, AK
12. New Orleans

Other smaller or less energy focused regional hubs (in no particular order): Gillette, WY; Casper, WY; Billings, MT; Salt Lake City; Roswell/Hobbs/Artesia, NM; Farmington, NM; Cushing, OK (could probably lump in with OKC or Tulsa but it is obviously extremely important as a hub); Tyler, TX; Austin/San Antonio, TX; Lafayette, LA; Shreveport, LA; Evansville, IN; Canonsburg, PA; Charlestown, WV; Edmonton, AB.

I think 5 - 8 and 9 -12 are probably somewhat interchangeable depending on who or when you ask, which part of the energy industry you are looking at, or your general definition of a hub.

I thought of Calgary, but them thought American cities not North American cities like maybe I should have.

PhiAlpha
11-10-2014, 12:11 PM
I would give Denver the #2 nod, but OKC is definitely a close #3.

After having worked in Denver and spending a lot of time between Denver and OKC, I would have trouble putting Denver at number 2 (if not including Canada). If you look at what I would consider the top 5 American/Canadian Energy hubs, in Houston, Calgary, and OKC, the energy industry takes up a much large portion of the economy than it does in Denver and DFW. That paired with the fact that we have just as many or more major company HQs here led me to give us the nod over Denver. We also don't have anywhere near the level of anti-industry sentiment or environmental groups here as there are in Denver. I think it's very close and up until a few years ago, I would probably still have given it to Denver, but massive drop in the price of natural gas in 2008 and general decline of the industry there since the 1980s bust have reduced it's significance. In the 1980s it was definitely a major hub, but while the energy industry has rebounded there, I don't think it's done as well as it has here.

Having said that, it's almost completely a matter of opinion. You could definitely go either way.

PhiAlpha
11-10-2014, 12:29 PM
Here's the thing though, if OKC was twice the size of Tulsa, than I would understand what you mean, but 25% isn't that much bigger. Tulsa is in a bigger tier than Wichita, and I know I might get some crap for this, but as I really think about it, Tulsa would be in the same tier as OKC in my book. I don't know if you have noticed, but nearly every single retailer that announces a Tulsa or OKC location, announces a location for the other city shortly after. To me that says they view the cities as the same pretty much.

I should also note that I still believe Tulsa could pull ahead of OKC if it really gets its sh!t together. Tulsa right now is a dump, imo, but they could easily experience a major boom and I won't feel different about it until OKC gets a population that is at least twice the size of Tulsa's. Tulsa has some pretty significant safeguards to their economy so that should be noted as well.

As I've said before, I really do not like Tulsa, but I still recognize realities here. I don't know why, but Tulsa just depresses the crap out of me. I hate going there. I'm not going to lie here, I want OKC to flourish and Tulsa not to do as well so we can really grow to become a major city just because this is my hometown and I love OKC. That is the way I feel and if you are from Tulsa and don't like it tough. I have also had many conversations with people from Tulsa that just loooooooove to say things like ''sorry to hear you're from OKC'' or "OKC is becoming a nice little city almost like it is going to catch up with Tulsa. . . it's cute." 99% of the time I just say ok, shake my head, and walk away. When I am in a real city like Dallas, people have nothing but good things to say about OKC. Every once in awhile I get the "what the hell do you do for fun down there" but that is expected at least from some people in a city the size of Dallas.

The point I'm trying to make is that OKC suffered for a long time and we are just now really starting to grow, so don't turn your back to Tulsa like they are some city we've left in the dust. I believe they are still a competitor to OKC and even though they are smaller, I still consider OKC and Tulsa to be in the same rank or tier, but barely. I would also venture to say KC is in a higher tier than OKC is and will be probably for the next 5 years or so.

Man you are way too hard on Tulsa. I'm the first to say that OKC has much more going for it right now development and economy wise, but Tulsa definitely is not the dump you're describing. I'm up there at least a weekend or two every month and generally enjoy it. At minimum, they have an aesthetic edge on us. While I don't think OKC is ugly (like many from Tulsa seem to think it is for some reason), the rolling hills and widespread large trees help Tulsa. Why exactly do you dislike Tulsa so much?

bchris02
11-10-2014, 12:41 PM
Man you are way to hard on Tulsa. I'm the first to say that OKC has much more going for it right now development and economy wise, but Tulsa definitely is not the dump you're describing. I'm up there at least a weekend or two every month and generally enjoy it. At minimum, they have an aesthetic edge on us. While I don't think OKC is ugly (like many from Tulsa seem to think it is for some reason), the rolling hills and widespread large trees help Tulsa. Why exactly do you dislike Tulsa so much?

OKC has areas like Heritage Hills, Nichols Hills, and east Edmond that have a mature tree canopy and look almost indistinguishable from Tulsa. Some of Tulsa's suburbs, Broken Arrow in particular, are as ugly as the some of the ugliest parts of OKC. The west OKC metro is pretty treeless but that is simply because of the natural geography. Where Tulsa really has the advantage is the fact they have outdoor sanctuaries like Turkey Mountain at their doorstep. OKC has nothing in comparison. One thing I really wish OKC would stop doing is bulldozing down all the trees when doing new construction. This city could have more mature trees than it does and that would help aesthetics.

I can't speak for PluPan but what I really dislike about Tulsa is the elitism. They aren't a Dallas or a Charlotte or an Austin yet they act like they are. It can sometimes get pretty ridiculous.

Motley
11-10-2014, 12:58 PM
Having been lucky enough to have spent considerable time or lived in many places in the US (currently San Diego), including OKC and Tulsa, I am always drawn to the city that seems to be second on everyone's list. For whatever reason, I prefer Portland to Seattle. LA to the Bay, Chicago to NYC. I have to believe it has to do with the attitude projected by the city that seems to have to be the "best" one. It always struck me as silly that the Tulsa newscaster always said "America's most beautiful city" even though that honor was given to them in the 50's. OKC is doing fine and doesn't need to constantly compare itslef to Tulsa. Same for Houston and LA. However, it seems Dallas and the Bay and Tulsa have to constantly remind everyone that they are better than their sister city. It is the overall quality of the experience, not who has the prettiest mountain or river view that ultimately makes me want to live there.

I don't think Houston cared that Dallas got several Nordstrom's before they got one in the Galleria. Or LA cares that the Bay has two football teams and LA none. I never hear anyone in San Diego comparing itself to any other city at all (except the weatherpersons saying how great our weather is compared to the rest of the US).

Jake
11-10-2014, 01:04 PM
I'm from Tulsa and I like both cities. They both have their good aspects and their bad aspects. I honestly don't think I've ever heard anyone I know from back home say that "Tulsa is better than OKC" or any of my friends from OKC say that "OKC is better than Tulsa." Don't think the general public really cares all that much.

Motley
11-10-2014, 01:15 PM
My first job was delivering meat to local restaurants in Altus. I have always remembered a little plaque on the back wall in the kitchen of one seedy little place that said "The best place to live is where you have a job."

BDP
11-10-2014, 01:17 PM
The difference has never been as dramatic as people would like to believe.

So true. Especially when you begin comparing them both to other cities. That's the whole reason the debate often includes comparing gas station chains and stuff like that.

I really don't have anything against Tulsa, but I think it gets so oversold sometimes that it spoils the actual experience for me. I'm often disappointed or underwhelmed when I go there, not because what I did, saw, ate, etc was necessarily bad (ok, I have had some bad food, but EVERY city except San Francisco has bad restaurants), but usually because I was told how awesome it would be and it's often just not that big of a deal.

I can imagine it is a nice place to live and I have family there that really enjoy it, but you get some people who talk about it as if Tulsa is to Oklahoma City what San Francisco is to Sacramento and I just don't get it. It also seems people often make that comparison from a lack of perspective, both from what is actually going on in Oklahoma City and what sort of amenities and neighborhoods are common to a lot of cities.

BDP
11-10-2014, 01:26 PM
I'm from Tulsa and I like both cities. They both have their good aspects and their bad aspects. I honestly don't think I've ever heard anyone I know from back home say that "Tulsa is better than OKC" or any of my friends from OKC say that "OKC is better than Tulsa." Don't think the general public really cares all that much.

The rhetoric has seemed to have died down some, probably because there's a lot less substance to the arguments than there was maybe 10 years ago. It used to come up a lot as Oklahoma City began changing. My reaction to either of those claims was always pretty much "Really? Interesting, because I can't think of two cities that are more alike". But maybe that's where the "rivalry" comes from anyway.

HOT ROD
11-10-2014, 03:04 PM
In terms of MSA size these are the closest peers for each city:
42. New Orleans
43. Grand Rapids
44. Greenville
45. Memphis
46. OKC
47. Birmingham
48. Richmond
49. Harrisburg
50. Buffalo
51. Rochester
52. Albany
53. Albuquerque
54. Tulsa
55. Fresno
56. Knoxville
57. Dayton
58. El Paso

OKC is nationally in the tier of metros above Tulsa, but regionally is considered a peer metro.

Is New Orleans' MSA bigger than OKC's? I thought it was the other way around and that OKC was now in the top 40.

I would agree with this statement and also recognize that Tulsa really does pull significantly above its weight while OKC still underperforms (but is rapidly correcting that). Therein lies the 'problem' if you will, OKC hadn't been acting like it SHOULD and Tulsa had been in shoes bigger than it could rightfully fill. While things are working themselves out naturally today, Tulsa still has a reputation that it pulls like a big city. I am not against that at all - but I draw the line when Tulsan's put down OKC in the process instead of just letting the light shine.

One other thing I don't understand, I was looking at the international conferencing website (which is horribly outdated btw), and observed at the OKC page there was significant Tulsa advertising but the same was NOT the case on the Tulsa page. Could it be that Tulsa is so used to capitalizing on OKC (and OKC does nothing about it) that this is the reason retailers and others that OKC covets tend to chose Tulsa first or give them benefit of doubt for Oklahoma? This was not the first time I've seen this type of thing, and it is a little bit upsetting and I'm concerned that OKC is just letting it happen. Its almost as if OKC hasn't joined the information age while Tulsa has a committee to seek out any and all OKC or Oklahoma pages to put their ads/skyline/propaganda.

I don'[t necessarily recommend OKC plaster on Tulsa's page, but at least OKC should buy up advertising space on its own page (or however it is done) instead of letting its little sister take the limelight away. Again, Tulsa pulling more than its weight and this blatantly against OKC.

Plutonic Panda
11-10-2014, 03:22 PM
Why exactly do you dislike Tulsa so much?Maybe I am a bit too hard on T town, but I have to drive there quite a bit and it just gets old being there. They could do much more, but for reason, they don't.

That said, the number of people that stick their nose up at OKC is insane. I talked to a lady who was working as a gas station clerk there one time who said OKC has a poor educated working base and can't compete with Tulsa, and I'm thinking here(I didn't say it because I'm not a dick), "lady, you're f#cking 40 years old and working at a gas station and you're talking down on low-skill jobs......give me a f'n break!" There are tons of more instances, but I'm not going to list them all. I've forgotten over half of them and exactly what was said, but I want to know what the deal is up there. :p

I guess OKC isn't much higher than Tulsa regarding aesthetics and really Tulsa has us beat at the moment, but that will change very quickly. Having lived in Dallas and being used to their standards, I guess it doesn't help my dislike for Tulsa. I don't know of one city in the US that I would ever speak ill of except Tulsa. It's getting worse not better. About when I first joined this board, I actually advocated for Tulsa, than I discovered some things, explored Tulsa, and thought about it.

warreng88
11-10-2014, 03:39 PM
My dad was a methodist minister in Oklahoma so we lived all over the state. We lived in Tulsa and Broken Arrow and I can absolutely say without a doubt there is a Tulsa is better than OKC mindsight for most of the people there. I think like what PP said is they think everyone in Tulsa is educated and everyone in OKC is not. They do have some great bar districts (Brookside, Brady, Cherry Street) but then you look at where Midtown is going, the Plaza District, Bricktown and probably Film Row in the future and you can make the argument that they are about neck and neck in that aspect. The big difference is OKC is still in its infancy regarding Midtown and Film Row and that is only going to get better whereas the Tulsa districts are pretty well built out. When it comes to downtown, there is no question that OKC's is better. Tulsa has the PAC, Cain's, Brady, BOK and the ballpark for entertainment while OKC has the Civic, Peake, Bricktown ballpark with The Chevy BT Events Center coming online soon and the Criterion in design phases. The reason Tulsa gets some retailers first is because the 101st and Memorial area is surrounded by higher dense, high priced homes and that's about all the retailers look at. Woodland Hills mall is comparable to Penn Square mall which is sad for OKC. The main issue holding Tulsa back is their city governance. I was absolutely stunned they passed the Vision 2025 because that is taking money people worked hard for and using it for a public use. Something like Maps where all the money was spent on things meant to lure people to the area would never pass in Tulsa. They had to include incentives for companies, money for higher education, community centers and other parks and trails to get that through. If they were to do the BOK, Ballpark, river improvements, PAC improvements, new DT library, Tulsa fairgrounds and convention center upgrades (sound familiar?) I have no doubt it would be voted down.

KayneMo
11-10-2014, 03:42 PM
I compared lists and BG918 actually posted CSAs.
Here are the MSAs in similar format:
37. Virginia Beach
38. Providence
39. Milwaukee
40. Jacksonville
41. Memphis
42. Oklahoma City
43. Louisville
44. Richmond
45. New Orleans
46. Hartford
47. Raleigh
48. Salt Lake City
49. Birmingham
50. Buffalo
51. Rochester
52. Grand Rapids
53. Tucson
54. Honolulu
55. Tulsa
56. Fresno
57. Bridgeport, CT
58. Worcester, MA
59. Albuquerque
60. Omaha

bchris02
11-10-2014, 03:57 PM
When I moved here in 2012 I would have agreed that Tulsa had better bar districts. I argued that point even here on OKCTalk. Today I think OKC is passing them up and it will only get better as each district evolves into its potential. Midtown more than likely will reach critical mass within the next three years. It's amazing to think two years ago Midtown was only McNellies, Bossa Nova, and a few restaurants. Now it's a small but legitimate bar district. Bricktown is on its way to becoming more diverse and should appeal to a wider variety of tastes than it has in the past. Add the Plaza and the Paseo, which Tulsa has nothing like, and there is now plenty of choices around here. Within the next few years Film Row may also enter the conversation especially after the 21c hotel opens.

bchris02
11-10-2014, 04:14 PM
The reason Tulsa gets some retailers first is because the 101st and Memorial area is surrounded by higher dense, high priced homes and that's about all the retailers look at. Woodland Hills mall is comparable to Penn Square mall which is sad for OKC.

I agree, though I would say Penn is a notch nicer than Woodland Hills. Tulsa's real advantage comes from having Utica Square. I wonder why Simon doesn't try to go more upscale with Penn Square? There are a lot of ultra low-end stores there like Gamestop, Payless, and Lids that could just as easily go into Belle Isle strip center.

catch22
11-10-2014, 05:25 PM
I was in Tulsa yesterday, and honestly, was quite jealous of several things I saw. Really the first time I have been in Tulsa for leisure and had a chance to see the sights.

Pete
11-10-2014, 05:40 PM
I was in Tulsa yesterday, and honestly, was quite jealous of several things I saw. Really the first time I have been in Tulsa for leisure and had a chance to see the sights.

What specifically impressed you?

catch22
11-10-2014, 05:52 PM
What specifically impressed you?

The Riverside trails, very nicely down, and very much used by the public. (TONS of people out running, biking, playing with kids/dogs, reminded me of some of the beach trails in LA area). I never see many people out on our trails, even on really nice days like Sunday was.

The riverside district (I think that is what it is called at 36th and Peoria). Very small urban stretch -- tons of people out walking around, small shops and crowded sidewalk patios.

Also, was impressed by the traffic circle downtown. That intersection is a fantastic example of placemaking.

Plutonic Panda
11-10-2014, 06:07 PM
The Riverside trails, very nicely down, and very much used by the public. (TONS of people out running, biking, playing with kids/dogs, reminded me of some of the beach trails in LA area). I never see many people out on our trails, even on really nice days like Sunday was.

The riverside district (I think that is what it is called at 36th and Peoria). Very small urban stretch -- tons of people out walking around, small shops and crowded sidewalk patios.

Also, was impressed by the traffic circle downtown. That intersection is a fantastic example of placemaking.
There is one traffic circle downtown surrounded by one way, wide, streets that have huge cracks in them.

I was on the trails with my aunt a few weeks ago and the weather was beautiful; nobody was out on them when we were there.

BG918
11-10-2014, 06:24 PM
The Riverside trails, very nicely down, and very much used by the public. (TONS of people out running, biking, playing with kids/dogs, reminded me of some of the beach trails in LA area). I never see many people out on our trails, even on really nice days like Sunday was.

The riverside district (I think that is what it is called at 36th and Peoria). Very small urban stretch -- tons of people out walking around, small shops and crowded sidewalk patios.

Also, was impressed by the traffic circle downtown. That intersection is a fantastic example of placemaking.

If there was any distinguishable feature that separates the two cities it is Riverparks/Turkey Mountain, as OKC doesn't have something really like it. Yes there are the Oklahoma River trails but they are not as popular and central to the surrounding neighborhoods and overall psyche of the city as Riverparks. Turkey Mountain is a huge asset with its location and hiking/biking trails, not many cities anywhere have anything quite like it in the middle of the city. On the other side Tulsa has nothing like Lake Hefner which is a great area for jogging and biking, and the restaurants on the east side offer a unique experience not common in inland cities. Seeing the sailboats and windsurfers on a nice day is a cool experience, and very few places have something like that in the city limits.

I wish both cities had more on-the-water restaurants like what you see in Austin; in Tulsa on the Arkansas River and in OKC on Lake Hefner, and eventually maybe on the Oklahoma River near downtown. Both the Arkansas and Lake Hefner suffer from the occasional lack of water and hopefully there is a future solution for both, especially in Tulsa where during the late summer and winter the Arkansas can be nearly completely dry except near downtown behind the dam.

BG918
11-10-2014, 06:51 PM
Just out of curiosity, what is the #2 American energy hub? I'm assuming Houston is #1.

Houston is clearly #1 nationally and globally. I was thinking Denver #2 with OKC closely behind at #3 with DFW #4 and Tulsa #5. Pittsburgh #6 currently and would likely jump Tulsa and maybe DFW if gas prices rebound. For all of North America Calgary would be the solid #2; Edmonton is also up there. This includes all energy including renewables which IMO gives Denver the slight nod, as well as their position as the center of a vast energy-rich area in the Mountain West/Great Plains. OKC is the main center for Mid-Continent E&P; Tulsa is a secondary E&P center but is a larger midstream and services hub.

bchris02
11-10-2014, 08:19 PM
OKC has a couple of traffic circles in Midtown. I don't see how the one in Tulsa is any more impressive than the ones in OKC.

I will say I am a bit jealous of 15th St through the Cherry St district. That area is like Western Avenue on steroids and placemaking is a little better.

Plutonic Panda
11-10-2014, 08:43 PM
OKC has a couple of traffic circles in Midtown. I don't see how the one in Tulsa is any more impressive than the ones in OKC.

I will say I am a bit jealous of 15th St through the Cherry St district. That area is like Western Avenue on steroids and placemaking is a little better.The base lights up at night, but other than that, it is just a traffic circle. Nothing special about it. Edmond has one south of 2nd St.

Jake
11-10-2014, 09:48 PM
Riverside in Tulsa is cool. If the Arkansas River actually had water in it, it'd be even cooler.

bombermwc
11-11-2014, 07:36 AM
Well they had that 2020 vision or whatever that COULD have done that. Remember, we used to mow the Oklahoma River and said the same thing about it. It's amazing what a few dams can do to a waterway. OKC had the benefit of a rather narrow waterway though because it's a flood flow "river". The Arkansas is a LOT wider so its going to be a lot more difficult to get it damed up and full without causing significant issues with downstream flow...it's just too wide. And in the hot summer, that much surface area can be a big evaporation area.

AP
11-11-2014, 07:42 AM
Well they had that 2020 vision or whatever that COULD have done that. Remember, we used to mow the Oklahoma River and said the same thing about it. It's amazing what a few dams can do to a waterway. OKC had the benefit of a rather narrow waterway though because it's a flood flow "river". The Arkansas is a LOT wider so its going to be a lot more difficult to get it damed up and full without causing significant issues with downstream flow...it's just too wide. And in the hot summer, that much surface area can be a big evaporation area.

That doesn't change the fact that it would be a lot cooler if it had water in it.