View Full Version : What image are you looking for?



Redneck Cabbie
08-14-2006, 12:00 AM
I'm curious...

I've seen more than one post on this forum slamming this town's "redneck" image, and wanting to be more cosmopolitan.

What city do you envision this one to resemble...

Seattle?
San Francisco?
New York City?
Los Angeles?

Patrick
08-14-2006, 09:31 AM
How about none of the above. I want Oklahoma City to set its own image.

I have no problem with us retaining our Native American Heritage. It's just the way we go about doing it.

Midtowner
08-14-2006, 10:04 AM
How about none of the above. I want Oklahoma City to set its own image.

I have no problem with us retaining our Native American Heritage. It's just the way we go about doing it.


^ what he said.

Nixon7
08-14-2006, 10:40 AM
how then would you say we go about with our native american image? seems like most try to reject it

metro
08-14-2006, 10:59 AM
What they both said


Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
How about none of the above. I want Oklahoma City to set its own image.

I have no problem with us retaining our Native American Heritage. It's just the way we go about doing it.



^ what he said.

I think if you read deep into past threads on this site over the past few years, as well as articles from the mainstream media in OKC, you will find that people are okay with our image, it's just the way some people go about marketing it. We don't want to be a copy-cat of another city, we want to promote our own identity.

Midtowner
08-14-2006, 11:03 AM
how then would you say we go about with our native american image? seems like most try to reject it

Native Americans haven't given us much to embrace recently.

-- or do third-rate casinos count?

jbrown84
08-14-2006, 11:27 AM
It's just a matter of not making it "hokey" or pushing it to the point that people don't realize that we actually have a Symphony, a Ballet, a small but world class Art Museum, a thriving arts community in the Paseo, a professional musical theatre company ranked in the top ten in the nation, the International Photography Hall of Fame, etc etc etc.

There is something wrong when the only thing people hear about is Stockyards City and the fact that we have an oil well on our capitol grounds. There's nothing wrong with these things, we just need to remember to promote every aspect our city has to offer.

Midtowner
08-14-2006, 12:15 PM
Pretty much every major city has an art museum, arts community, musical theater company, etc. Those don't set us apart. Those type of things are more for local tourists than out-of-staters.

I think Bricktown with a nearby compliment of hotel and convention facilities can really make a run at being a premiere destination for conventions. With the entertainment facilities nearby as well as the low cost/high quality accomodations, expect Bricktown/downtown to really become a premiere convention site.

A couple of years ago, I was at my college fraternity's national convention. I was sitting down to lunch with the gentleman that had just been elected as the next #1 man of our organization. He asked the table where we'd like to see the next convention. A couple of us (myself, a few other chapter brothers, and a local attorney who is an international officer) were able to make a very good case for Oklahoma City. We were of course being compared to places like Hilton Head, Indianaoplis, Toronto, St. Louis, etc. -- all to which I think OKC compares very favorably in terms of conference facilities, hotel space, entertainment, etc.

The recent changes will only make it easier to make such a sell, and in time, I have every reason to believe that it will happen.

BDP
08-14-2006, 03:00 PM
Pretty much every major city has an art museum, arts community, musical theater company, etc. Those don't set us apart.

You're right. Our efforts in those areas are pretty much just to keep up. Most people don't want to live in a city without those things, so we're kind of just meeting quota.


I think Bricktown with a nearby compliment of hotel and convention facilities can really make a run at being a premiere destination for conventions.

And even that isn't hard to find in other cities. Most have better hotel selections, but I think next year will help improve that a bit.


With the entertainment facilities nearby as well as the low cost/high quality accommodations, expect Bricktown/downtown to really become a premiere convention site.

And that's really our angle at the moment: value. We don't have much, but it is affordable and with more hotel rooms next year, it should get more convenient. I don't think we're going to pull major conventions with that infrastructure like those in the cities Cabbie listed, but it should help us get some conventions that want to be here, but can't because of the lack of rooms. It might even help pull us to within the same level as cities you listed, midtowner, especially in bang for buck.

As for image, the only real albatross with the redneck image is that it conveys intolerance. Like it or not, the redneck image suggests that we don't like outsiders or cultural variance or change. It makes it sound like an unwelcoming envirnment in which to live and develop a company. I don't think OKC needs the scale of those cities at all, but those cities do reap great advantages from their image of welcoming diversity.

Such an image helps to foster a diverse work force and corporate environment. This leads to a diversified economy, leading to better prosperity and shelter from sector collapses.

OKC can be a city for everyone, not just rednecks. Once it is, it may begin to lose that image nationally and attract all kinds of people. It would be great to have a well diversified, yet laid back, environment.

metro
08-14-2006, 03:08 PM
OKC can be a city for everyone, not just rednecks. Once it is, it may begin to lose that image nationally and attract all kinds of people. It would be great to have a well diversified, yet laid back, environment

Correct me if I'm wrong, but we already have that.

Midtowner
08-14-2006, 03:13 PM
I live in a city that's "just for rednecks"??

Ouch.

Lauri101
08-14-2006, 03:22 PM
As I traveled this spring in Germany and Italy, when I responded to people who asked where I was from, I got two responses: 1) Oh, where the bombing was or 2) Do you have a lot of Indians there?

Personally, after traveling to all but one of the cities mentioned by RC Cabbie above (I've never been to Seattle), I prefer OKC anytime. SF wasn't bad, but the land space was too small and I felt smothered. LA and NYC - no way!

Give me the friendliness of Oklahomans, the room the stretch out and even the "wind sweeping down the plain"! I'm not real happy with the political condition, but I'll keep working to change that as much as I am able.

I'm going to go watch some lazy circles in the sky...
:biggrin:

Kerry
08-14-2006, 08:12 PM
We could start by getting rid of the spinning spur on the OKC CVB web site. Want to know why people think OKC is still full of cowboys and Indians? Just look at the first thing a visitor sees - Spurs.

As for the Native American thing - here is how I see it. Instead of promoting Indians and their contrbutions to modern America - we are given a steady dose of rain dances and tee pee displays. I remember being at OU during one of the Native American cultural weeks. There was an artical in the Oklahoma Daily how the on-campus Indians wanted to show people they were more than hunters. However, what did they display outside the library - A tee pee!

Am I to understand that the great contribution of American Indians is the first trailer? If smoking peace pipe, eating mushrooms, and painting buffalo skulls is all they can offer then I would just as soon not have them promote anything. However, if they would like to point out early forms of government, unique construction techniques (besides a tee pee), language acheivements, poetry, contribution to science and medicine, or the like, I would definately be in favor of that. However, all we get is Native American dancing, chanting, and "authentic" Indian jewlery. Sorry folks but people already think most Oklahomas live in tee pees. Just ask Charles Barkley.

If you are going to promote something - point out what people don't know. If all you give them is what they already think then why would anyone want to visit OKC. I include Clay Bennett in this. When he had his press conference to announce buying the team he held it at the Cowboy Hall of Fame. Why not the Myriad Gardens or along the canal. Here is my new sogan for OKC

Visit OKC - we dusted ourself off, brushed our teeth and darn it - we clean up pretty nice. Come visit and bring the in-laws.

Patrick
08-14-2006, 11:14 PM
how then would you say we go about with our native american image? seems like most try to reject it

Projection #1: A bunch of cowboy and indian rednecks, that live in trailor parks, commit incest, are narrow-minded and against drinking dancing etc., ride horses to work, drive large farm trucks with country music blaring loud, reject technology, etc.

Projection #2: Celebrating a great Native American heritage, namely, the culture, with beautiful tribal art, songs, and dance, Native American jewlery, celebrating Native American traditions, and looking forward to the future of this great state.


Remember, the state of Florida celebrates its Native American culture, as does the state of New Mexico, but no one thinks they're hicks.

Oki_Man5
08-15-2006, 05:31 AM
Midtowner said: "Native Americans haven't given us much to embrace recently."

"-- or do third-rate casinos count?"

No, Midtowner, this is not meant to pick on you, but I want to ask everyone who they think causes the casinos in Ok to be third rate. Do youall think it is the desire of the tribes to have this type casino, or do you think if they had the freedom to do it, they would have first-rate casinos?

Personally, I would prefer Ok not have the lottery nor have casinos, but what an image we portray holding the casinos like they are---kinda like saying we don't believe in gambling here in Ok---what an image that portrays.

And the above equates to the small towns that the city/town governments want to micromanage the residents' lives; then, they wonder why nowadays outside Ok County, the bulk of the people prefer land outside most city limits.

We here in Ok are hypocrites; yeah! That is the bottom line, and it shows up like a throbbing thumb.

Doug Loudenback
08-15-2006, 07:48 AM
What city do you envision this one to resemble...
I don't have any predetermined image in mind. But, I do want one thing for sure: an exciting, vibrant and bustling downtown. I want to have a downtown to go to that is exciting both during the day and at night.

I do recall the time that lots of people, including myself, didn't think so much of Oklahoma City ... mainly during that time zone between the former thriving downtown and the rebirth engendered by Spahgetti Warehouse and MAPS. It wasn't so much that people didn't like Oklahoma City, but it was just that it didn't have much of a downtown for many years. Downtown was, in that time zone, a non-destination. In a word, it was boring.

That has changed and with every few weeks or at least months, it continues to change, for the better.

So, point 1 in my "book" about what kind of a city I'd want or envision Okc to be is a city that has a great downtown, the greater the better. A city's downtown is the sine qua non as to whether a city is urban or rural (I think).

The "downtown" element of a city is certainly not all that there is about a city and even if in many ways it "defines" a city. All would agree that a city needs a great school system, a diversified economy, and low costs of living are not a bad thing, either. It needs water and water play areas and other engaging attractions which are not downtwon. It needs a good highway and transportation system, and other things, as well.

But, Redneck Cabbie, Oklahoma City should just be "Oklahoma City" - and that means embracing all of that which we have been, are, and are becoming, whatever that is. Cowboys,spurs,and Indians included. The Western Heritage Center included. Red Earth and the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, and, yes, pow-wows, included. The "Oklahoma" mural on EK Gaylord Blvd. included. The Land Run included. Oil roughnecks included. Redneck cabbies included. Downtown/midtown/triangle dwellers included. The Oklahoma River included. And, as we know from last season, it doesn't hurt to have an NBA basketball team in town, either. I'm hoping that will take care of itself asap.

All this simply means that we should envision a city that resembles ourselves, and go for it! This city is doing that, and I love it!

Midtowner
08-15-2006, 07:54 AM
Midtowner said: "Native Americans haven't given us much to embrace recently."

"-- or do third-rate casinos count?"

No, Midtowner, this is not meant to pick on you, but I want to ask everyone who they think causes the casinos in Ok to be third rate. Do youall think it is the desire of the tribes to have this type casino, or do you think if they had the freedom to do it, they would have first-rate casinos?

Personally, I would prefer Ok not have the lottery nor have casinos, but what an image we portray holding the casinos like they are---kinda like saying we don't believe in gambling here in Ok---what an image that portrays.

And the above equates to the small towns that the city/town governments want to micromanage the residents' lives; then, they wonder why nowadays outside Ok County, the bulk of the people prefer land outside most city limits.

We here in Ok are hypocrites; yeah! That is the bottom line, and it shows up like a throbbing thumb.

Why are casinos third-rate?

Because it takes lots of money to build a first rate casino, and there's not a lot of guarantee that there will be any more return on investment for a first-rate casino than a third-rate one. I would love to see the tribes get together and put together a tourist-oriented casino town somewhere near Stroud (or in Stroud).

If they could put several first rate facilities in the same place along with resorts, hotels, golf, etc., Oklahoma could have a real tourist mecca on its hands. Everyone involved would do quite well I think.

I think that tribes are too content to settle for the mediocre. They are doing what they know works. Can't really fault them for it. I think the risk/reward of the above is good enough to merit consideration. Clearly, the tribes do not.

Doug Loudenback
08-15-2006, 08:00 AM
I think that tribes are too content to settle for the mediocre. They are doing what they know works. Can't really fault them for it. I think the risk/reward of the above is good enough to merit consideration. Clearly, the tribes do not.
I can't personally speak to this since I've never been in a casino, in Oklahoma or elsewhere. But, my wife had lunch last week in the new Riverwind Casino south of Norman last week ... she was very impressed. Quite possibly the Choctaws have done it right.

Doug Loudenback
08-15-2006, 08:03 AM
One more thing, Redneck Cabbie, what's YOUR answer to the question you asked,
What city do you envision this one to resemble...

Easy180
08-15-2006, 08:22 AM
midtowner...the biggest reason the tribal casinos are third rate is they are limited in the types of machines and games they can provide...if they were allowed the same gambling class as Vegas they would likely do the same as Tunica and build large Vegas style resorts...not all of them could afford to do that, but we would likely see several tribes take that chance

Midtowner
08-15-2006, 08:50 AM
midtowner...the biggest reason the tribal casinos are third rate is they are limited in the types of machines and games they can provide...if they were allowed the same gambling class as Vegas they would likely do the same as Tunica and build large Vegas style resorts...not all of them could afford to do that, but we would likely see several tribes take that chance

I find our state's head in the sand approach to gambling to be absolutely absurd. I'm able to gamble playing just about any game at work, or at home via the internet.

I'm not really sure what the state thinks it can accomplish by holding back local businesses. I'd personally like to see tribes enabled to operate Vegas-style casinos in exchange for money from those casinos going to state's education funds.

BDP
08-15-2006, 08:59 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but we already have that.

We do not have the image of being a diversified and welcoming community, yet. But I believe we are doing many things right to correct that.


I live in a city that's "just for rednecks"??

I thought we were talking about image here. Like it or not, that is our image. In fact, you can find some posts here by locals who think that is our strongest asset and any efforts to expand on that or devlop and promote other qualities of life here are either a waste of time or detremental to Oklahoma City.

Does Oklahoma City have the image you want it to have?

BDP
08-15-2006, 09:21 AM
it doesn't hurt to have an NBA basketball team in town, either.

If for nothing else, to help promote all the things that you are talking about and change its image nationally.

-----

I think one thing that is interesting about the NBA team is the boost in image that has come with it. I also think the common caveats are interesting, too. You often hear that OKC is kind of a poor man's San Antonio, with a cheap rip off of the riverwalk. Most compliment Bricktown and are surprised by OKC vital downtown entertainment, but it also seems to be a product of surprise more than being truly impressed relative to other markets. I think we are currently exceeding expectation for most visitors and prospective residents, including corporate ones, but I donít see any reason to not try and meet their needs and desires instead of just beating expectations. I realize you have to take it one step at a time, but I also donít see complacency as beneficial, either.

I think these opinions reinforce that we are doing right by improving our core. We can have the best neighborhoods on the fringe of our city, but most impressions, at least first ones, are formed by the city center and its vitality, or lack thereof.

I believe it was an LA mayor that once described LA as several suburbs in search of a city. I think Oklahoma City was that for a long time, but has begun to change. I think the core gives the city as a whole its identity, at least its communal one. We are all from Oklahoma City. What does that mean? What is Oklahoma City? I think our improving downtown has given it meaning and begun to gives us all something of which to be proud. As our own opinions of our city have improved, so has our image.

That being said, there is a lot that can improve. Some seem to take that as criticism, but I simply see it as hopeful. If the resistance to improvement and diversification of lifestyle options regains momentum and becomes a hindrance to Oklahoma Cityís growth, then I would have to take the advice of some and move. As it is now, I see it going in the right direction and am enjoying watching it grow up.

Easy180
08-15-2006, 09:21 AM
midtowner...I agree with you...if it's going to be allowed then just allow everything...stupid to endorse gambling, but then put silly regulations restricting the types of games...it's still gambling just not as fun : )

bdp...I also agree with you...like it or not when many people hear Oklahoma City their first thought is banjo music straight out of deliverance

Patrick
08-15-2006, 09:26 AM
It seems to me that some of you guys have only been to the smaller smokey casinos of the past. The newer tribal casinos are pretty first class. We frequently go to Cherokee Casino and Resort in Tulsa. I'd say it's pretty comparable to casinos in Tunica. We just recently went to the new Riverwind Casino in Norman, and the place is huge...it's now the state's largest casino. Sweet place.
Remington Park isn't bad either, IMO.

Easy180
08-15-2006, 09:54 AM
All about the games that can be offered though...we don't enjoy slots so no interest in the casinos here...tournament style blackjack is a sad table game option imo

Tunica offers the same games as Vegas so draws way more gamblers than OK will ever do unless we offer full scale gambling

soonerguru
08-15-2006, 10:04 AM
Redneck Cabbie,

No offense, but you seem preturnaturally obsessed that somehow OKC will morph into Seattle or San Fran. I don't think you have much to worry about there!

That being said, Oklahoma offers plenty of redneck entertainment. Some of us just want a few choices beyond Bass Pro and Catfish Cabin -- and indeed, we already have them.

We also would like to not have to board a plane to enjoy challenging theatre, art, film and music, and be able to shop for groceries beyond packaged crap at a Supercenter. Frankly, you would probably appreciate some of those things, too.

This is Oklahoma's biggest city, and some of us are just hankerin' for a little more big city options.

But, no matter how much OKC grows, there will always be plenty of endless suburbs and exurbs with nothing but Wal-Mart and shopping centers in them if that is your preferred lifestyle choice.