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  1. #1

    Default Progressive Rural Cities

    We are always discussing about the progress of OKC & Tulsa, what about the progress of rural mid-sized cities like Muskogee, Enid, Ada, McAlester, Ardmore, Duncan, Bartlesville, etc...passed through Ardmore a few weeks back and they have an impressive convention center and hotel going up next to I-35.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Ardmore Convention Center


  3. #3

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Historic Aldridge Hotel in McAlester, renovated into housing about 10 years ago:


  4. #4

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Bartlesville is by far and away the best. It has world a class skyscraper and downtown. With COP moving out of Ponca, B-Ville has thrived.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    It is definitely Bartlesville. I would say that Muskogee is also very surprising for these things.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    In Ada, there is alot of construction going on, like there will be a new bigger movie theater, they just open a new bigger Dollar Tree, and a Rue 21 is coming in, I keep hearing rumors of other stores like Ross and Gamestop that wants to come in.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Ada has also created an Arts District and is incorporating the synergy from the new Multi-million dollar ECU performance hall.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Yeah, I saw an article about that. It was pretty intriguing.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Ada is also getting a Goodwill store opening March 2, can't wait till it opens.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    I think Hobart should be included in this one. It is definitely one of the smaller towns doing its job to create a downtown with life. It has a lot of stuff happening in the downtown and is a great place to visit!

    Anybody else know of any other small towns that are doing great. I know some stuff about Pawhuska and its resurgent downtown, but it hasn't been made public yet. All I have to say is Pioneer Woman is going to have a huge impact on that town! It will be the small town to visit in 3-5 years with shops, b&bs, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    I have been meaning to drive up to Bartlesville some time and check out the Frank Lloyd Wright tower (Price Tower) up there. Has anyone ever been? I was looking over the website recently and unless I'm mistaken it looks to me like in addition to being a museum they also have hotel rooms in the tower that can be stayed in. That would be really cool to do.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by lasomeday View Post

    Anybody else know of any other small towns that are doing great. I know some stuff about Pawhuska and its resurgent downtown, but it hasn't been made public yet. All I have to say is Pioneer Woman is going to have a huge impact on that town! It will be the small town to visit in 3-5 years with shops, b&bs, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
    I wouldn't be too sure since Pawhuska has been losing population and is not close to an interstate highway. But perhaps its downtown has become a Business Improvement District(BID). Downtown Stillwater is this way and has definitely helped it live with the competition presented from two super Wal-Marts and strip malls.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by lasomeday View Post
    I think Hobart should be included in this one. It is definitely one of the smaller towns doing its job to create a downtown with life. It has a lot of stuff happening in the downtown and is a great place to visit!
    Hobart, like much of southwestern Oklahoma, has been losing population, too, so what's stimulating its downtown? By having life, does it even mean something is open after 5pm? Maybe it's an interesting place to visit, like Altus, but I couldn't imagine living in such a remote part of Oklahoma.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by Questor View Post
    I have been meaning to drive up to Bartlesville some time and check out the Frank Lloyd Wright tower (Price Tower) up there. Has anyone ever been? I was looking over the website recently and unless I'm mistaken it looks to me like in addition to being a museum they also have hotel rooms in the tower that can be stayed in. That would be really cool to do.
    Yes it operates as a hotel, they have a website.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by lasomeday View Post
    I think Hobart should be included in this one. It is definitely one of the smaller towns doing its job to create a downtown with life. It has a lot of stuff happening in the downtown and is a great place to visit!

    Anybody else know of any other small towns that are doing great. I know some stuff about Pawhuska and its resurgent downtown, but it hasn't been made public yet. All I have to say is Pioneer Woman is going to have a huge impact on that town! It will be the small town to visit in 3-5 years with shops, b&bs, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
    These are pretty vague statements. Care to elaborate on what all these small towns are doing? It's not like most people know what small town Oklahoma is up to.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    In Stillwater, its rumored that the Quad Graphics building where Rolling Stone and ESPN magazines were once printed is going to be bought out by a company that wants to start making its own components related to energy, rather than having it outsourced.

    It's also rumored that another firm related to energy wants to buy Mercury Marine. It may employ up to 1500 people, probably more than Mercury ever had employed. If any party is interesting in buying the Mercury Marine plant, then it's priced at 8.5 million dollars and has 715,000 sq. ft.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by metro View Post
    These are pretty vague statements. Care to elaborate on what all these small towns are doing? It's not like most people know what small town Oklahoma is up to.
    They did shoot a movie in Pawhuska and the surrounding area that should come out soon. It stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Jessica Chastain, Amanda Peet, Javier Bardem, and a bunch of other up and coming stars.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1595656/

    There might also be another movie shooting there soon based on the play Osage County written by a lady in Tulsa. They have casted Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts so far.

    Anyways the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond lives nearby and has a tv show on the Food Network and is a famous blogger. They film some of her show in Pawhuska but most is on her ranch.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/the-pioneer-woman/index.html
    http://thepioneerwoman.com/

    I can't say much more about Pawhusks because things haven't been announced, but it is about to be a little tourist destination! They are working on hotels, b&bs and new restaurants as well as more museums and tourist destinations. They already have the Tallgrass Prairie Reserve, Osage County, and Osage Nation museums as well as Woolarac Museum, ranch, and wildlife preserve nearby.

    Here is Hobart.

    http://www.hobartok.com/

  18. #18

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by Questor View Post
    I have been meaning to drive up to Bartlesville some time and check out the Frank Lloyd Wright tower (Price Tower) up there. Has anyone ever been? I was looking over the website recently and unless I'm mistaken it looks to me like in addition to being a museum they also have hotel rooms in the tower that can be stayed in. That would be really cool to do.
    Yes, it is an awesome tower and pretty cool museum. Bartlesville is really doing great in the last 4 years due to ConocoPhillips investing a lot of jobs in the town.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunty View Post
    I wouldn't be too sure since Pawhuska has been losing population and is not close to an interstate highway. But perhaps its downtown has become a Business Improvement District(BID). Downtown Stillwater is this way and has definitely helped it live with the competition presented from two super Wal-Marts and strip malls.
    There are local investors spending a lot of money to fix up the old five story buildings in town. They have one of the largest historic districts in the state. They had a building boom in the 1900-1920s due to oil money. It is in the middle of nowhere, but because of this has kept its charm and does not have a Wal-Mart.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Since nobody has said anything on this thread in a while, i got an update on whats going on in Ada, Hampton inn is buliding a new motel west of Santa fe steakhouse, Gamestop bought the old Blockbuster video store and they are taking over one side of the building and the other half is a rumored Shoe Dept., A new movie theater is being build, and it was just annouced that a bioenergy plant is being bulit here.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Durant has added many businesses within the past several years. A La Quinta is almost complete. Hampton Inn, Best Express Inn, Microtel Inn (now Choctaw Lodge), and Holiday Inn Express were recently finished. Whataburger, Lowe's, Wendy's, Chicken Express, a new Braum's, a second Sonic, Sports City Cafe, Billy Sim's, Walgreens, Blockbuster, Taco Mayo, Arby's, Hibbett Sports, Rue 21, Game Stop, Cato, the Shoe Dept., Pizza Inn, Rib Crib, Chili's, several more banks, Big Lots, a Big Lots distribution center, a glass manufacturer (Cardinal Glass), the Texoma Regional Eye Center, a new building for the Bryan County Health Dept. in the medical district, new buildings each for the police department and Oklahoma Hwy Patrol, 2 new fire department buildings, a new library and community center, at least 5 shopping centers and among others have also recently been added. New exit ramps have been built from Hwy 69/75 onto University Blvd which is prospected to spur even more development. Several years ago, downtown Durant's sidewalks were redone and landscaped, along with new downtown businesses and restaurants. A new high school was finished about 2 years ago with a student capacity of 1,200, it is beautiful! Also can't forget the Choctaw Casino Resort which added major additions several years ago, including a 12 story hotel, a small waterpark, an event center, a huge RV park, additional gambling floor (total of 220,000 sq. ft. of gambling floor), and employing around 3,000! The terminal at Durant Regional Airport was recently renovated, along with new taxiways. A new basketball arena, academic building, dormitories, and a new student union were added to Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The Durant Multi-Sports Complex was complete a few years ago with plans to still expand, right now it has around 7 soccer fields, 8 baseball/softball fields, and a football field. A Discount Tire and CVS are currently under construction. Also under construction is the Hwy 70 bypass to the south of Durant. I'm sure I've forgotten more, but I never realized how much has been going on in Durant!

  22. #22

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    I confess to not reading this entire thread, but as far as progressive small towns are considered, Tahlequah should be one of the first mentions. Wonderful downtown, nice music scene, great bars and restaurants, nice arts and cultural scene (with genuine hipsters and bohemians), a beautiful university, and many wonderful outdoor recreational amenities. If I were an old person looking to retire, it would be at the top of the list.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by KayneMo View Post
    Durant has added many businesses within the past several years. A La Quinta is almost complete. Hampton Inn, Best Express Inn, Microtel Inn (now Choctaw Lodge), and Holiday Inn Express were recently finished. Whataburger, Lowe's, Wendy's, Chicken Express, a new Braum's, a second Sonic, Sports City Cafe, Billy Sim's, Walgreens, Blockbuster, Taco Mayo, Arby's, Hibbett Sports, Rue 21, Game Stop, Cato, the Shoe Dept., Pizza Inn, Rib Crib, Chili's, several more banks, Big Lots, a Big Lots distribution center, a glass manufacturer (Cardinal Glass), the Texoma Regional Eye Center, a new building for the Bryan County Health Dept. in the medical district, new buildings each for the police department and Oklahoma Hwy Patrol, 2 new fire department buildings, a new library and community center, at least 5 shopping centers and among others have also recently been added. New exit ramps have been built from Hwy 69/75 onto University Blvd which is prospected to spur even more development. Several years ago, downtown Durant's sidewalks were redone and landscaped, along with new downtown businesses and restaurants. A new high school was finished about 2 years ago with a student capacity of 1,200, it is beautiful! Also can't forget the Choctaw Casino Resort which added major additions several years ago, including a 12 story hotel, a small waterpark, an event center, a huge RV park, additional gambling floor (total of 220,000 sq. ft. of gambling floor), and employing around 3,000! The terminal at Durant Regional Airport was recently renovated, along with new taxiways. A new basketball arena, academic building, dormitories, and a new student union were added to Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The Durant Multi-Sports Complex was complete a few years ago with plans to still expand, right now it has around 7 soccer fields, 8 baseball/softball fields, and a football field. A Discount Tire and CVS are currently under construction. Also under construction is the Hwy 70 bypass to the south of Durant. I'm sure I've forgotten more, but I never realized how much has been going on in Durant!
    I don't think Durant's growth is authentic, raw growth. I think most of this development is from the DFW Metroplex bleed over as Durant is now included in the DFW Metroplex combined statistical area.

  24. Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    I've never been there but downtown Miami looks pretty good.

    Do a search on The Coleman Theater.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Progressive Rural Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by KayneMo View Post
    Durant has added many businesses within the past several years. A La Quinta is almost complete. Hampton Inn, Best Express Inn, Microtel Inn (now Choctaw Lodge), and Holiday Inn Express were recently finished. Whataburger, Lowe's, Wendy's, Chicken Express, a new Braum's, a second Sonic, Sports City Cafe, Billy Sim's, Walgreens, Blockbuster, Taco Mayo, Arby's, Hibbett Sports, Rue 21, Game Stop, Cato, the Shoe Dept., Pizza Inn, Rib Crib, Chili's, several more banks, Big Lots, a Big Lots distribution center, a glass manufacturer (Cardinal Glass), the Texoma Regional Eye Center, a new building for the Bryan County Health Dept. in the medical district, new buildings each for the police department and Oklahoma Hwy Patrol, 2 new fire department buildings, a new library and community center, at least 5 shopping centers and among others have also recently been added. New exit ramps have been built from Hwy 69/75 onto University Blvd which is prospected to spur even more development. Several years ago, downtown Durant's sidewalks were redone and landscaped, along with new downtown businesses and restaurants. A new high school was finished about 2 years ago with a student capacity of 1,200, it is beautiful! Also can't forget the Choctaw Casino Resort which added major additions several years ago, including a 12 story hotel, a small waterpark, an event center, a huge RV park, additional gambling floor (total of 220,000 sq. ft. of gambling floor), and employing around 3,000! The terminal at Durant Regional Airport was recently renovated, along with new taxiways. A new basketball arena, academic building, dormitories, and a new student union were added to Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The Durant Multi-Sports Complex was complete a few years ago with plans to still expand, right now it has around 7 soccer fields, 8 baseball/softball fields, and a football field. A Discount Tire and CVS are currently under construction. Also under construction is the Hwy 70 bypass to the south of Durant. I'm sure I've forgotten more, but I never realized how much has been going on in Durant!
    Wow, how impressive! It looks like Durant has been in a big, big hurry to catch up to Stillwater. What next to catch up? Wal-Mart #2? It's taken Stillwater for the last 15 years to get most of those stores and hotels mentioned. The very low income of college students and overall lack of industrial development, leading to slow income growth, has kept a damper on rapid business development in Stillwater over the years.

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