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Thread: Boathouse Row

  1. Default Re: Boathouse Row

    King, thanks for those kind words. Sad to see that the moved from Madison rather than what we'd all probably want is just a branch or maybe OKC being a 2nd headquarters - but very classy of you to see the bright side of the sport and your wishes for success based in OKC.

    I hope this links the two cities since despite OKC being much larger I think there's much we can learn/gain from Madison, and this sport/hq could provide an ever expanding link. Now come to think of it, OKC and Madison have more commonalities than many might realize: both are state capitals, both have very large universities, close to very large metro areas about 200 miles away (Dallas, Chicago), etc.

    Cheers!
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  2. #1202

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Just to be clear, this is not an actual retailer. Itís a once a year Tradeshow being held in OKC. Still awesome!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by HOT ROD View Post
    King, thanks for those kind words. Sad to see that the moved from Madison rather than what we'd all probably want is just a branch or maybe OKC being a 2nd headquarters - but very classy of you to see the bright side of the sport and your wishes for success based in OKC.

    I hope this links the two cities since despite OKC being much larger I think there's much we can learn/gain from Madison, and this sport/hq could provide an ever expanding link. Now come to think of it, OKC and Madison have more commonalities than many might realize: both are state capitals, both have very large universities, close to very large metro areas about 200 miles away (Dallas, Chicago), etc.

    Cheers!

  3. #1203

  4. #1204
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  5. #1205

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    This will be a fitness court like the one at Stars & Stripes Park.

    I saw the renderings somewhere but I believe they are very similar.

  6. #1206
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  7. #1207

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    ^

    I don't understand this at all.

    MAPS estimated about a $33 million overage and asked for all the sub-committees to submit their requests. All in, the total was just under $67 million, not including the convention center which presented 3 different options, which would be another $3.3 to $9.6 million.

    The MAPS 3 Board then agreed they shouldn't make any decisions until they reviewed all the requests, apart from granting $.8M to the river in advance and another $4M to the streetcar, as they had contractors on site and it would have been far more expensive and problematic to wait on those items.

    Then, the River committee asks for just under $8 million... And they are awarded the full amount by the MAPS Board without considering the requests from the others, such as $10M by parks for renovating Union Station, $13.3M for new trails and sidewalks, etc.

    So, of the $33M in projected excess, the River gets $9M, the Streetcar $4M and everyone else has to compete for the remaining $20M with total requests of about $57M + whatever the convention center is seeking.


    Remember, just after the city concluded a contentious and competitive process for the annual budget, the city turned around and gave the River $2M, even though the amount had already been identified but specifially withheld during budget talks.

    It seems very obvious the River projects are receiving special treatment and not having to go through a full process and then being given millions of tax dollars.


    And of course, none of this is mentioned in the Oklahoman's article. It should be pointed out that the Oklahoman has a very intimate relationship with the River, often featuring them in video segments and receiving tons of ad revenue.

  8. #1208

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Good! Whats weird is that my sister's husband has been living here for at least ten years, but never knew this place was downtown.

  9. #1209

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin lee View Post
    Good! Whats weird is that my sister's husband has been living here for at least ten years, but never knew this place was downtown.
    I have met many people that live in suburban OKC that are unaware of this amazing asset. At what point do we start putting some funding towards new avenues of advertising. With how frequently we hear about Riversports on local news and in the Oklahoman it is clear those forms of media are missing a decent segment of our citizens. That recent twitter debacle re Scissortail Park "news" is more evidence of the same problem.

  10. Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Quote Originally Posted by aDark View Post
    I have met many people that live in suburban OKC that are unaware of this amazing asset. At what point do we start putting some funding towards new avenues of advertising. With how frequently we hear about Riversports on local news and in the Oklahoman it is clear those forms of media are missing a decent segment of our citizens. That recent twitter debacle re Scissortail Park "news" is more evidence of the same problem.
    Even as a daily reader of this forum, I barely know what all the buildings are down there. Aside from the rapids, I didn't realize until a few weeks ago that the boathouses are open to the public, not just the company whose name is on them. I thought they were just for the rowing teams.

  11. #1211

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    From today's Oklahoman:

    A report on the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation's management shortcomings concludes former businessman and philanthropist Aubrey McClendon gave the foundation its ability to dream big but, overly reliant on his generosity, the organization failed to develop the tools needed to sustain itself.

    The result was an agreement earlier this year for a $2 million cash infusion from the city of Oklahoma City to help the foundation regain its footing.

    The foundation oversees the Boathouse District, an Olympic training site for water sports. It is the city's operating partner for the MAPS 3 whitewater rafting and kayaking park.

    The city council on Tuesday will consider $7.9 million for the whitewater park to help the foundation save money on utilities, broaden the park's appeal and bring in more revenue.
    In its report, the Mettise Group said it was common among those who were interviewed to hear that Boathouse Foundation Executive Director Mike Knopp "came up with the ideas and Aubrey made them happen."

    Interviewers were told, "We had the opportunity to soar and go big. Aubrey was the back stop. Aubrey covered if there were losses."

    "The downside of this kind of governance," the report says, "is that the organization's programs and management systems are seen as not having been tested and honed through the natural maturation of an organization responding and accountable to strong governance and market conditions."

    The deal approved by the city council for the $2 million required the foundation to follow recommendations in the report, including restructuring its board, adding experienced executive leadership and developing a strategic plan.

    McClendon was co-founder of Chesapeake Energy Corp. and part-owner of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team. He was killed in a traffic wreck on March 2, 2016, a day after being indicted on federal charges of conspiring to rig bids for Oklahoma oil and natural gas leases. He was 56.

    "Nobody I've ever met has been as passionate about Oklahoma City," Knopp said Monday.

    He said McClendon helped set the pace as the Boathouse District grew, with more than $100 million in investments in its first 15 years.

    A recent study found the district's direct economic impact is $23 million annually.

    With McClendon, Knopp said, it was "onward and upward and what's next."

    There was a lot of strategic planning in those early years, he said. "Even before the opening of the Chesapeake Boathouse in 2006 we were talking about whitewater."
    The $46.2 million whitewater park later was included among the projects promised to voters who approved MAPS 3 in 2009.
    "It was a lot of blood, sweat and tears," Knopp said. "The first 15 years was like a rocket."

    Knopp said the Boathouse Foundation's restructured board embraced the recommendations in the report from the Mettise Group, of Oklahoma City.
    The report recommended the board restructuring, hiring a chief operating officer, strengthening financial management and budgeting, and developing a strategic plan.
    "A simple, actionable strategic plan is a management tool that serves the purpose of focusing the energy, resources and time of everyone in the organization in the same direction," it says.

    The foundation's board has undergone the restructuring and streamlining and is now chaired by energy executive Ronnie Irani.

    The strategic plan, a requirement of the deal for the city's $2 million, has been presented to the new board.
    Boathouse Foundation report

    A report made recommendations for stabilizing finances at the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation. The foundation manages the MAPS 3 whitewater park and oversees the Boathouse District. Key recommendations:
    • Strengthen financial management.
    • Establish a "committed, working board."
    Key quote: "A vision without a plan is just a dream."

  12. #1212

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    ^

    Sigh.

    So, I've been working on getting more info on this (see many posts upstream) and did an open records request.

    They hastily put something together and sent it to me and then obvious sent it to the Oklahoma who writes a puff piece based on a puff presentation.


    Interestingly, Cathy O'Connor stood before both the MAPS 3 Board and City Council in June and said the Alliance had been commissioned for this study that led them to recommend providing more MAPS funds + $2 million from the general city budget. This is before the $7.9 million they are now asking for in advance of considering other competing applications from the various MAPS 3 subcommittees.

    But the study that they provided to me from the open records request and then was obviously sent to the Oklahoman was dated October 2018. It was also done by a local consulting firm and that was never previously mentioned.


    I've yet to get a good answer as to how O'Connor was asking for millions in June when this report wasn't finished until this month.

    This whole thing just is very strange and the answers provided do not make sense.

  13. #1213

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    I should also point out that this presentation was never shared with City Council or the MAPS 3 Board.

    It was not included in the City Council packet for today's meeting where they are asking to give final approval for the additional $7.9 million in MAPS funds, again, before other subcommittees had a chance to have their own requests considered.

  14. #1214

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    I've been waiting for this shoe to drop for a long time. Everything in this article is 100% correct. I worked for the Boathouse Foundation and saw firsthand the complete lack of financial accountability within the organization. The prevailing attitude was always "Aubrey will cover it" whenever there were overages or funding needs, which there always were. Now Aubrey is gone and most of their original sponsors (most significantly Chesapeake & Devon) have either stepped away or significantly curtailed their annual giving. There were way too many facilities built too fast, with very little thought given to whether they would ever be able to pay for themselves. And now the city has to bail them out. But what will they do next year, and the year after that, etc? If I were a member of one of the other MAPS3 subcommittees, I would be outraged. This whole thing has been a boondoggle from day #1 and now that they're limping along on public money, I hope they are held accountable for their shortsightedness and general managerial failures.

  15. #1215

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Quote Originally Posted by Boomer3791 View Post
    I've been waiting for this shoe to drop for a long time. Everything in this article is 100% correct. I worked for the Boathouse Foundation and saw firsthand the complete lack of financial accountability within the organization. The prevailing attitude was always "Aubrey will cover it" whenever there were overages or funding needs, which there always were. Now Aubrey is gone and most of their original sponsors (most significantly Chesapeake & Devon) have either stepped away or significantly curtailed their annual giving. There were way too many facilities built too fast, with very little thought given to whether they would ever be able to pay for themselves. And now the city has to bail them out. But what will they do next year, and the year after that, etc? If I were a member of one of the other MAPS3 subcommittees, I would be outraged. This whole thing has been a boondoggle from day #1 and now that they're limping along on public money, I hope they are held accountable for their shortsightedness and general managerial failures.
    I haven't followed the financial structure of the Boathouse District, but I assumed that that boathouse owners (CHK, DVN, OSU, etc.) would pay dues into a general fund like homeowners in an HOA. The zipline, rapids and other venues would create revenue that would also go into the fund. If frugally operated it would be self-sustaining. I guess that's not how it is structured?

  16. #1216

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Quote Originally Posted by CloudDeckMedia View Post
    I haven't followed the financial structure of the Boathouse District, but I assumed that that boathouse owners (CHK, DVN, OSU, etc.) would pay dues into a general fund like homeowners in an HOA. The zipline, rapids and other venues would create revenue that would also go into the fund. If frugally operated it would be self-sustaining. I guess that's not how it is structured?

    There are no separate boathouse owners Just sponsors that helped build the buildings

  17. #1217

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    I don't see the controversy. At all. And I'm a CPA. You put your money into your cash cows. This is one thing that sets OKC apart from most other cities (the Riverfront park). It is so unique, and has OKC on Olympic sports maps. The world is catered towards stars (sports, busjness, celebrities, etc). The fact that this happens everywhere, yet this board makes it seem this only happens here, is astounding to me.

  18. #1218

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny d View Post
    I don't see the controversy. At all. And I'm a CPA. You put your money into your cash cows. This is one thing that sets OKC apart from most other cities (the Riverfront park). It is so unique, and has OKC on Olympic sports maps. The world is catered towards stars (sports, busjness, celebrities, etc). The fact that this happens everywhere, yet this board makes it seem this only happens here, is astounding to me.
    How is this a cash cow? They have been losing millions every year for the last 5 years.

  19. #1219

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Did we building too many big triangles not knowing how they can make money? Are these all city owned buildings? What exactly is sucking the money here?

  20. #1220

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    I really think this area needs mixed use hotels, apartments, and a restaurant/bar in the area to bring more people to Boathouse Row. There's already a decent amount of amenities in the area and some cheaper options could be added (e.g., basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts). I saw a bar in Milwaukee recently that had volleyball courts with regular league games next to it in that might be a good fit for the area. I'd think a mixed use development facing the whitewater center instead of an open parking lot could help a lot. I'm not saying that this would fix the problems, but there just needs to be more reasons for people to come to this area. There needs to be more regular traffic. It's just way too disconnected by highways now. It needs to become it's own area.

  21. #1221
    HangryHippo Guest

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    I really think this area needs mixed use hotels, apartments, and a restaurant/bar in the area to bring more people to Boathouse Row. There's already a decent amount of amenities in the area and some cheaper options could be added (e.g., basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts). I saw a bar in Milwaukee recently that had volleyball courts with regular league games next to it in that might be a good fit for the area. I'd think a mixed use development facing the whitewater center instead of an open parking lot could help a lot. I'm not saying that this would fix the problems, but there just needs to be more reasons for people to come to this area. There needs to be more regular traffic. It's just way too disconnected by highways now. It needs to become it's own area.
    In the worst way.

  22. #1222
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    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Is the feeling now that we should never have done this project?

  23. #1223

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    The project is good. It is just isolated and still a destination spot. Dan is on the right track. Currently the Boathouse district/Riversport is surrounded by a railroad yard on one side, a major highway interchange on another, and the only somewhat accessible area is a relatively small opening underneath I-40 that introduces the Canal. And that is the least active part of the canal and it has a sea of parking a la Bass Pro + overflow on one side, with the other side of the canal being the Co Op mill site which currently sits idle and demolished.

  24. #1224

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Would be cool to see a smaller version of this built here: https://www.wharfdc.com/wharf/


  25. #1225

    Default Re: Boathouse Row

    Now that's an interesting development I was completely unaware of. It looks fantastic.

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