Tourism Tax approves funds for music festival, basketball and golf tournaments
April 25, 2021
The Alva Tourism Tax Committee approved three requests for funding events during their meeting Wednesday, April 21. Present for the meeting were Chair Norville Ritter, Connor Martin, Terri Parsons and Dr. Charles Tucker. Melinda Barton was absent.
Chamber Director Jodie Bradford presented the financial report showing the committee has $421,224.29 available in their account. She said encumbrances for the Alva Chamber and Northwest Oklahoma Visitors, the Red Carpet Country Visitors Guide, and the Oklahoma State Parks & Outdoor Guide are about to be paid and will show up on next month’s report.
Previously, the committee approved $6,000 each for the Northwest Oklahoma Junior Rodeo Association events in July and August. Due to a scheduling conflict in Woodward, they asked to move the July event to the weekend of June 5 in Alva. The committee approved that request.
Salt Fork June Jam
Dr. Kay Decker appeared on behalf of Freedom West CDC to request $3,000 for the Salt Fork June Jam to be held June 5 beginning at 3 p.m. on the downtown courthouse green space and stage. She said two local groups, the Max Ridgway Trio and a group featuring Jeff McAlpin and Dave Engle, will begin the concert. At 7 p.m. the Byron Berline Band from Gutherie will perform. Berline and his band members are nationally known bluegrass musicians. Berline owns the Doublestop Fiddleshop in Guthrie.
The Nescatunga Arts Festival has traditionally been held on the first Saturday in June, but it has been moved to November this year. Decker said Alva needs a cultural event in the summer to attract visitors and provide entertainment. She has applied to the Oklahoma Arts Council for help funding the event and will have some private donations. The requested $3,000 would pay for some remaining expenses like band fees, a sound system by Boss Music and porta-potties not otherwise covered. The committee voted to provide funds up to $3,000.
AHS – NWOSU Shoot-Out
Alva High boys’ basketball head coach Shane Feely spoke to the committee about a new event, a basketball tournament in cooperation with Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Accompanying Feely was new Alva High girls’ basketball head coach Kris Gore. They asked for up to $10,400 in tourism tax dollars.
Feely said it has been four or five years since the high school has hosted a tournament. Instead, they’ve been traveling to other places and spending their money out of town. AHS Principal Cory Smith and NWOSU Athletic Director Brad Franz along with Feely will be in charge of the event. Games will be split between the two venues.
Personnel from Alva Public Schools will staff the events at the high school with AHS athletes and parents running the concession stand. Franz and Dustin Goodno will run the tournament at NWOSU.
Alva High School will also be hosting a JV tournament in the old gym at the same time.
The tournament will include eight boys and girls teams in each division, targeting seven teams from Class A to 3A. Alva High has tried to create a tournament for the last four years but could not secure more than five teams. By partnering with NWOSU, the tournament will combine some teams from the small school Northwestern tournament. Teams secured for the Dec. 10-12 tournament are Alva, Seiling, Cherokee, Wynnewood, Pawhuska, South Central (KS), South Barber (KS), and Pioneer.
In order to attract enough teams, Feely said they propose to offer $1,000 per school for travel expenses. He said it is getting harder and harder to fill a tournament as nobody wants to travel.
Gore said when she was coaching at Canton, they paid $500 per team and that was in the 1990s. Canton still has a tournament.
Ritter asked about the number of tournaments competing for teams. Feely said the OSSAA has set two weeks in December for tournaments, and there are about 80 to 90 in the state during that time.
Martin made a motion, seconded by Parsons, to provide up to $10,400 for the tournament. The motion carried unanimously. The money is to be used to pay officials and the team participation fees.
NWOSU Football Golf Tournament
NWOSU head football coach Matt Walter spoke to the committee about the 25th Annual NWOSU Football Golf Tournament to be held June 4-5 at the Alva Golf and Country Club. The event is a fund-raiser for the football team and attracts alumni of the university.
Walter said the tournament is already full with golfers “chomping at the bit” after it was canceled last year due to Covid. The tournament has always been held the same weekend as the Nescatunga Arts Festival which provided entertainment for spouses. Walter said not having the art festival this year might mean some of the spouses will stay home.
He said 60 to 70 percent of those entering the tournament are from out of town with golfers from Texas, Kansas and even Florida. This means they will be needing motel rooms. He described a “perfect” tournament as having 32 teams but the course can accommodate up to 44 teams if needed.
The committee approved the request for up to $5,000 which will be used for golf carts and Adidas apparel.
An executive session was included on the agenda, but there was no need for one so it was skipped.
A video of the meeting may be seen at http://www.AlvaReviewCourier.com.