View Full Version : OKCTalk mentioned in today's Oklahoman

06-06-2006, 04:24 PM
Web site members get a sneak peak

By Steve Lackmeyer
The Oklahoman (

It wasn't too long ago that downtown Oklahoma City leaders had to beg for the public's attention. Engaging anyone to really care about what was or wasn't going on was a Herculean task in a city that had concluded the core was already dead.

Now, downtowners can barely keep up with the hunger for information about the latest development. With construction about to go into yet another frenzy, it's easy to conclude it's only natural that people would want to know all they can.

But something has been added to the mix: the Internet.

A decade ago, you either were an insider in the know or someone who kept an eye out for the next press release. But rumors fly on the Internet almost daily these days, and some of them even turn out true. One of the busier local Web sites, (, even managed to gather about a dozen members away from their keyboards recently for a tour of the Colcord Hotel.

It was a first for developer Paul Coury, who targeted the former office building for redevelopment after unsuccessfully bidding to do a similar project at the Skirvin hotel. The hotel is scheduled to open by fall, but members at ( wanted to see the project now, with their own eyes.

"It's the way the world is today," Coury said. "Everything is instant."

The Web site was started in April, 2004, and is similar to other chat boards once hosted by the City of Oklahoma City and NewsOK. Founder Todd Reagor, among those who toured the Colcord, boasts the Web site has more than 1,700 members, among them Mayor Mick Cornett. Patrick Horn, a moderator at (, said the outing was a first for the Web site, but they are hoping to schedule a similar tour soon at the Skirvin.

Main Street Alive and Well
"I go back now and the stores are all empty. Except for an old coke sign from 1950. Boarded up like they never existed. Or renovated and called historic districts. There goes the little man."

-- Alan Jackson, 1999's "The Little Man" Don't be fooled by the music video for Alan Jackson's song "The Little Man," showing small towns decimated by the advent of modern big box retailers. Last week might just as well chalked up a maiden voyage for me into southeast Oklahoma as I traveled to Wilburton to attend the annual Preservation Oklahoma conference.

Yes, it's true a lot of these smaller downtowns are trying to reinvent themselves as historic districts. But touring towns like Wilburton, you see plenty of the stores Jackson fondly remembers still hanging on. Maybe Wilburton has an advantage, its Main Street being located along a state highway. You can still buy hardware, books and flowers on Main Street.

A couple of restaurants and a bank also stayed busy during my three-day visit.
The little man isn't always the beaten down, worn out loser to Wal-Mart shown in Jackson's video -- and if downtown Wilburton is any indication, the war is far from over.


06-06-2006, 04:25 PM
Here's the pic that was in today's Oklahoman:

From left to right is: Todd, Doug Loudenback, {la_resistance}, Patrick, John

06-06-2006, 05:43 PM
Very Cool! Nice publicity....

06-06-2006, 05:45 PM
Very Cool! Nice publicity....
Excellent! Thanks to Steve Lackmeyer and the Oklahoman.