Alva Review-Courier -

Tourism Committee pledges support for arena


February 23, 2020

Todd Holder

The Alva Tourism and Convention Development Committee passed two measures involving the Alva Arena Authority during their Wednesday meeting. Present for the meeting were Chair Norville Ritter and members Dr. Charles Tucker and Connor Martin. Members Jaunita Dotson and Terri Parsons were absent.

Treasurer Todd Holder of the Alva Arena Authority told the committee a proposed resolution would be useful in proving community support when seeking USDA funding for the arena. The resolution states the committee supports the arena authority in the construction, maintenance and continuing operation of an arena for the benefit of Alva, Woods County and northwest Oklahoma. It says the committee will give due consideration to requests from the arena authority for current and future requests for financial assistance. The resolution was approved unanimously.

Holder also presented an application asking for $150,000 in tourism tax funds for the Alva Arena to pay for coordinator and assistant salaries. The budget worksheet for the application shows the event coordinator salary at $90,000 with the assistant coordinator at $60,000.

The arena authority has not yet hired a coordinator although they are looking. Holder described this as a "shelf request" since the funds are not needed immediately but will be required after breaking ground for the facility. He said that will tentatively occur this summer. Holder said the groundbreaking depends on final notification from the USDA on the arena's application for a loan. He estimated that process could take two and one-half months or longer.

Tucker made a motion to approve the $150,000 request, seconded by Martin. The motion passed unanimously.

Nescatunga Arts Festival

The committee approved a request for up to $7,550 for the 2020 Nescatunga Arts Festival to be held June 6 on the downtown square. Rain locations are ACT I and the Runnymede. Charla Parker told the committee this amount is lower than requested last year when $10,900 was requested. Costs of the event have been lowered by not placing ads in as many newspapers and on as many radio stations.

The arts festival is also planning some new children's activities to attract more families to the festival. A new Sugar Show is planned to include cupcakes, cookies and cakes. That will be held at the Extreme from 9 to 11 a.m. where there will be air conditioning.

Big Cruise and Car Show

The Big Cruise and Car Show will be Sept. 18-20 in downtown Alva. Joe Phillips and David Ingraham said this is the 20th year for the event and they're hoping to have a bigger show. To highlight the 20th year, R.A.C.E. will be giving away a 1980 Corvette in a drawing. Only those with cars entered in the show may participate, and the car club members are excluded.

The dyno guy will be back this year, Elvis is coming, and they hope to add an appearance by the Street Outlaws. Ingraham said they are still brainstorming plans for entertainment. He said he believes this is the biggest event held in Alva. Ritter agreed saying it fills up motels for 35 miles around.

The car show was approved for up to $26,300 which will be used for advertising and brochures, music and sound, sanitation, prizes and drawings, trophies and dash plaques, fuel vouchers, entertainment and building rental.

Crazy Cool Boulevard Cruise

Ken Schultz presented another event sponsored by R.A.C.E., the Crazy Cool Boulevard Cruise. Because there's no registration, it's difficult to determine how many people attend but the event draws a lot of people out to enjoy the three bands and watch the vehicles cruising by. Schultz said they hope to have 40 to 50 cars this year.

To extend the time spent in Alva, the group will also have a small car show downtown in the morning on July 18. The cruise will be from 8 to 10:30 p.m. This will be the sixth year for the event.

Martin made a motion to approve up to $4,500 for the event, seconded by Tucker, and the motion carried.

Turkey Hunt

Woods County Economic Development Committee Director Sonja Williams spoke to the committee about the annual Lt. Governor's Turkey Hunt held in Alva and Woods County. Although she wasn't presenting a funding request, she wanted to explain the purpose of the hunt and find out if they'd be amenable to a request.

Williams explained the event is an economic development recruitment tool drawing potential investors from all over the country. The Avard Rail project grew out of contacts from the turkey hunt.

The hunt requires a large budget and continues to grow each year, said Williams. The recent state rebranding will add some extra costs as new materials will need to be designed with the new logo.

This year, there are ten more hunters scheduled, and Williams said they need to recruit more local hunting guides, more landowners willing to host hunters and more funding.

She said it’s a great opportunity to promote Alva, Woods County and northwest Oklahoma and display the quality of life available in this area.

Ritter asked how much funding might be requested, and Williams said maybe $2,000 to $2,500. Committee members said they’d be interested in helping with the event, but the agenda item was for discussion only so no vote was taken.

Other Business

At the beginning of the meeting, financial information showed the committee had $567,923 in tourism tax funds available. However, none of the committee members could decipher the financial report which was laid out differently than usual. They agreed to table the report and seek clarification.


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