Recently 50 leaders from the Colorado Springs area visited OKC for their third annual Regional Leaders Trip." The group included members of the U.S. Olympic Committee, City of Colorado Springs and Chamber of Commerce in addition to representatives in the health care, real estate, banking and arts sectors. The trip"s mission was to learn how another U. S. city became a thriving metropolis and now has one of the strongest economies in the nation. OKC"s Boathouse District was one of the locations visited by the group.
"Take just one of those examples - sports. Oklahoma City has made a striking testament to its excitement about sports by building a beautiful new stadium right downtown. A recreational boom along the newly revitalized downtown river district draws athletes and families for rowing, kayaking, running, cycling and other fitness activities. That draws a returning customer base for district retailers. The sports economy has not only brought jobs and new energy, but has also united the community. It"s a tremendous source of civic pride. No mountains, no natural whitewater anywhere nearby, no headquarters of the nation"s premier sports committee, but they made it happen." Mary Ellen McNally, former Colorado Springs City Council member and community activist