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LandArchPoke
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« Reply #45 on: October 05, 2020, 08:27:35 pm »


In the 60's and 70's Tulsa had HQ's for most every oil company in the world. It also had McDonnell Douglas, North American Rockwell, and Telex. Telex was a big gov't contractor for the electronics for the cruise missile program as well as building computer equipment for companies around the globe. They were on par with IBM at the time. McDonnell Douglas was building assemblies for Boeing for the 747, they built things for the space program as well as North American Rockwell.

Tulsa didn't piss it away, it was a victim of contraction of industries in the 80's and 90's, and Tulsa couldn't or didn't react fast enough to the changes.

I think if Tulsa had been able to attract companies like Honeywell, Motorola, if Telex hadn't sat on their donkey, back in the 70's it might be a different landscape now.

Telex is a very over looked historical point and makes you wonder what might have happened if Roger Wheeler wasn't shot to death. We've had two points where we could have made a significant pivot to technology and we could easily have been in Austin's position now... somehow we just keep coming back to O&G though. For a while our city government seemed to have a defeatist attitude during some of these swings.

The other point in time was the dot.com bubble when we had WorldCom, WilTel, etc. which crashed and burned. Tulsa has a history of being able to be competitive in the technology landscape we just seem to forget about it very quickly. Even though the long-term viability of these businesses didn't work (and I know these are different types of 'tech' than what is growing now) it doesn't mean Tulsa can't recruit talent to the area, grow companies, and facilitate the resources needed for these companies and various industries. We just need someone or a company to take a chance. All it'd take is someone like Google to open a small regional office and demonstrate it's possible to recruit and retain talent. We almost need someone to just give away the whole house for free to get a big fish into town to set the precedent that it can work here again/today.

Oh yes, I get so frustrated with the "me too" lets create a plan that will in  5 or 10 years see us where other cities are now... not willing to look at the fact that those cities will have themselves moved ahead 5 or 10 years... leaving us STILL 5 or 10 years (at least) behind.  We are constantly that way.  Constantly too afraid and weak politically to do what it would take to leapfrog us ahead. And they don't look at the trends of where things are going demographically, business wise, technology wise, generationally, etc. and do what it takes to be in a place to take advantage of those trends, or compete.  


The 'me too' isn't always bad, we just have to make sure whatever we do is quality, the BOK Center is a good example. Leadership failures here resulted in several rushed proposals that delayed a new arena far beyond what it should have been, but at least in the end we gained something that has been a huge asset to Tulsa and is top quality. OneOk Field is a good example too. The Arts District investments stemmed from wanting a Tulsa Bricktown (which Bricktown is the height of 'me too' given it is a much crappier version of San Antonio) but we at least have been able to take that idea and make it into something that is uniquely Tulsa with emphasis on neighborhood assets like the Cain's and building on music/arts. We just have to be careful to not fall into the trap and make sure what we do is not just a carbon copy of another city, but use other cities as inspiration.

I feel like our outdoor recreation activities get overlooked compared to other southern/midwestern cities.  Places like Turkey Mountain for mtn biking, rock climbing in Chandler Park, hiking in the Keystone Ancient Forest, jogging and cycling along the miles of river trails, Gathering Place, big lakes all around the city not to mention the Ozarks only a couple hours to the east.  

The Arkansas River whitewater flume will be a cool amenity and if the new Zink Dam allows more boating (kayaking/SUP) on the lake behind it that will give us even more water recreation options.  Lake Bixhoma is already a great spot for this and a hidden gem in the Conjada Hills south of Bixby.  The Keystone Ancient Forest is another gem; Chandler Park has similar topographical features and a ton of land to expand to its west.  Iíve had people visit Tulsa and have remarked how many outdoor activities can be done in and around the city.

Agreed, we have almost as many nature attractions close to the city as you see in places like Austin, but for some reason there's just not that much credit given to Tulsa for these and we get very little attention for it nationally. It's 100% a perception issue and again it's something I don't see the city 'sell' much. Austin has higher quality trails and water activities on Towne Lake than we do near our CBD and I think that's what tends to overshadow the overall area attractions we have. I mean I'm not sure how many cities the size of Tulsa or larger have a trail system where you can live in BA (a major bedroom community) and bike on separated trails almost 100% of the way into the CBD. Or rock climb within 10 minutes of downtown (Chandler Park) or mountain bike and hike within 15 minutes of downtown (Turkey Mountain) etc. We also have Skiatook and Keystone within 30 minutes of downtown. At some point I'm hopeful those will become more developed and have things like Oasis that's on Lake Travis that would help bring more people out to those lakes. We could also use some better beaches and gathering spaces along those two lakes and that would make a huge difference, right now if you can't afford a boat or lake house it's hard to make a day at the lake work. Unlike Lake Travis with Hippie Hollow, etc. that you can drive out to and make an entire day of just chilling on the shoreline with friends.


One other question.  If not for the Chamber of Commerce, would we be Paris, TX?  The reason I ask is that the Tulsa Chamber gets best chamber in the nation awards on a seemingly regular basis.  Yet, in the last 10-15 years at least 20 major corporate headquarters or big regional offices have left here or been bought out and left.  If not for the Chamber,  would it be worse?  Or am I not understanding its role?  Is getting the "BEST" award the thing?  As I've put forward before , it seems like Tulsa does study after study after research project after research project and they just collect dust --- like the study is the thing not a result.  It's kind of like empathy.  Empathy from a politician without doing anything to improve constituents conditions is acting --- useless.  Frankly, we could also use some fire in the belly big money types --- thin-skinned, gaudy builders -  Jerry Jones types.  The people willing to do outlandish things --- like buy useless swampland in Florida to create Disney World (he'd be a billionaire today) in addition to our urbane, social equity, Ivy League wealthy who are as appreciated as it gets.  But is anyone willing to do what Atlanta did when it got the Olympics --- big game-changing gambles.  Realize I've likely lost you by now.  It's just that Tulsa was once a trend setter and now it's a "me too" and has been for 20-30 years.  We mimic other places and usually 5-10 years later.  On Utica Square --- it looks like it could use $3-5 million in deferred maintenance.  It's nice, but dozens of other centers/places around the country that play the same role in their cities are nicer.  Little unique about Utica Square anymore. I think a partnership with a national developer could be good to make it a mixed-use destination - if Helmerichs are tired of it, let the Bumgarners take it over.  As a place, we are not aggressive and there may be too few hands in the pot who can really affect change.  

Somebody with authority and/or bank account, should be knocking on doors of Disney or COMCAST CEOs and pitching Tulsa as a natural mid-country location for a 3rd Disney park --- maybe Route 66 theme or a Universal park.  There's a game changer.  If you like studies, commission one or buy an existing study showing where visitors to their existing parks come from --- is there a market for middle of country who may not be able to afford a week on either coast and only go to Disney or Universal once in a lifetime?  Couldn't be a Six Flags or similar regional park, would have to be Disney or Universal. Behind that, bring in corporations w/ quality of life perks.  Crazy? Maybe.  But my experience is Tulsa suffers from thinking too small, not from thinking too big.  Just an idea.    
            

I think the chamber this has a lot of the good ole boy system - it's not that they're bad, they just don't have a lot of vision in my opinion to think outside the box. If you compare them to business recruitment from similar entities in Houston, Dallas, etc. there's not even a remote comparison. They tend to stay in their lane here and that's not what we need if we want significant change/growth. They do what they need to in order to win awards like you said but that has little meaning to being great as business recruitment and retention. Seems like the chamber is full of the OilCapital type. I'd take a chamber that never wins an award and more concerned about perceptions amongst other chambers and is able to land a new employer that brings in 1,000 new jobs each year (or several of those a year) that isn't a distribution center or call center.

We've never leveraged Tulsa's influence on Hollywood. There's a lot of talent that comes out of this area for the size of the region. Why we don't beat down their door and try to get more studios/production here is beyond me. Some of it is a political issue with the state government and the 'Hollywood Liberals' which really does us no favors. I've always thought a Universal Studios type things would work great here as a mid-America location. The Osage Casino site could make a great location for a production studio/theme park - close to downtown and in a pretty area. Maybe one of the tribes will be able to make something like the work in the future. I'm not too hopeful that the state would be much help in this regard ever. Austin was very successful in leveraging this to create a new national image.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 08:52:51 pm by LandArchPoke » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: October 05, 2020, 11:59:21 pm »

Quote
We also have Skiatook and Keystone within 30 minutes of downtown. At some point I'm hopeful those will become more developed and have things like Oasis that's on Lake Travis that would help bring more people out to those lakes. We could also use some better beaches and gathering spaces along those two lakes and that would make a huge difference, right now if you can't afford a boat or lake house it's hard to make a day at the lake work.

Tall Chief Cove beach and Cross Timbers marina are good spots at Skiatook.  Would love to see Cross Timbers built up with some more dining options, the sunset views from there are amazing.  And itís 20 min from downtown.
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« Reply #47 on: October 06, 2020, 01:02:49 am »

Oh yes, I get so frustrated with the "me too" lets create a plan that will in  5 or 10 years see us where other cities are now... not willing to look at the fact that those cities will have themselves moved ahead 5 or 10 years... leaving us STILL 5 or 10 years (at least) behind.  We are constantly that way.  Constantly too afraid and weak politically to do what it would take to leapfrog us ahead. And they don't look at the trends of where things are going demographically, business wise, technology wise, generationally, etc. and do what it takes to be in a place to take advantage of those trends, or compete. 

One big thing we are going to have to contend with is demographics.  Current projections have most developed countries including the having slower and slower population growth and even seeing declines. (not helpful that we seem to be in a time where immigration which could save us from that decline, is itself being ever more cut off)  Not all cities in the US will lose population, but if over all the US is... that means the losers, will run the risk of reeeeally losing big.  That should scare some people into thinking we need to take drastic actions, especially with the way Tulsa has been losing population already, and the surrounding areas growth slowing (as we saw Tulsa do before it began losing, the downward trend is there) but you never hear our political class talking about it.  Do they think ignoring it or not talking about it is a good thing perhaps?  Don't want to scare anyone and get bad publicity?  But I think the worse danger of that is, that the average person/voter thinks things are ok on that front, and thus no changes need to be made to change that, let alone any big or difficult changes.


Yes. Agree.  We are too insular.  4-5 names control most everything and are happy to have a second home in Colorado or on the coast and keep Tulsa relatively the same as always.  If we had a P.T. Barnum type or three, there are enough sleeper things here to gain attention and growth.  The new Gilcrease is a step backward if you ask me.  Just came to mind.  Seems that could really be taken advantage of - 450 acres.  That statue - The American could have been a spark.  Also, there are some of the most famous people in their fields from Tulsa and unlike most other places, we do relatively little to take advantage of it for outside attention and city pride.  The most listened to person in the history of radio, Paul Harvey, was from here --- that's a little dated, but you wouldn't know that unless you knew it.  OKC takes advantage of Mickey Mantle --- he was from this part of the state, etc.  And its noted residences.  Enough complaining - people will say get off your behind and do something.  I don't know what you do to entice business creators not to cash out, but instead build a long term empire here --- unless love of place.  They all cash out. Understandable.  But other cities keep and grow a lot of their creations --- seems more than us.  We're happy to say, oh, that's Dallas, that's Kansas City, that's Walmart territory and now, well that's OKC.  We can't do those things.   
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 01:06:16 am by TulsaBeMore » Logged
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« Reply #48 on: October 06, 2020, 01:19:59 am »

Telex is a very over looked historical point and makes you wonder what might have happened if Roger Wheeler wasn't shot to death. We've had two points where we could have made a significant pivot to technology and we could easily have been in Austin's position now... somehow we just keep coming back to O&G though. For a while our city government seemed to have a defeatist attitude during some of these swings.

The other point in time was the dot.com bubble when we had WorldCom, WilTel, etc. which crashed and burned. Tulsa has a history of being able to be competitive in the technology landscape we just seem to forget about it very quickly. Even though the long-term viability of these businesses didn't work (and I know these are different types of 'tech' than what is growing now) it doesn't mean Tulsa can't recruit talent to the area, grow companies, and facilitate the resources needed for these companies and various industries. We just need someone or a company to take a chance. All it'd take is someone like Google to open a small regional office and demonstrate it's possible to recruit and retain talent. We almost need someone to just give away the whole house for free to get a big fish into town to set the precedent that it can work here again/today.
 

The 'me too' isn't always bad, we just have to make sure whatever we do is quality, the BOK Center is a good example. Leadership failures here resulted in several rushed proposals that delayed a new arena far beyond what it should have been, but at least in the end we gained something that has been a huge asset to Tulsa and is top quality. OneOk Field is a good example too. The Arts District investments stemmed from wanting a Tulsa Bricktown (which Bricktown is the height of 'me too' given it is a much crappier version of San Antonio) but we at least have been able to take that idea and make it into something that is uniquely Tulsa with emphasis on neighborhood assets like the Cain's and building on music/arts. We just have to be careful to not fall into the trap and make sure what we do is not just a carbon copy of another city, but use other cities as inspiration.

Agreed, we have almost as many nature attractions close to the city as you see in places like Austin, but for some reason there's just not that much credit given to Tulsa for these and we get very little attention for it nationally. It's 100% a perception issue and again it's something I don't see the city 'sell' much. Austin has higher quality trails and water activities on Towne Lake than we do near our CBD and I think that's what tends to overshadow the overall area attractions we have. I mean I'm not sure how many cities the size of Tulsa or larger have a trail system where you can live in BA (a major bedroom community) and bike on separated trails almost 100% of the way into the CBD. Or rock climb within 10 minutes of downtown (Chandler Park) or mountain bike and hike within 15 minutes of downtown (Turkey Mountain) etc. We also have Skiatook and Keystone within 30 minutes of downtown. At some point I'm hopeful those will become more developed and have things like Oasis that's on Lake Travis that would help bring more people out to those lakes. We could also use some better beaches and gathering spaces along those two lakes and that would make a huge difference, right now if you can't afford a boat or lake house it's hard to make a day at the lake work. Unlike Lake Travis with Hippie Hollow, etc. that you can drive out to and make an entire day of just chilling on the shoreline with friends.

I think the chamber this has a lot of the good ole boy system - it's not that they're bad, they just don't have a lot of vision in my opinion to think outside the box. If you compare them to business recruitment from similar entities in Houston, Dallas, etc. there's not even a remote comparison. They tend to stay in their lane here and that's not what we need if we want significant change/growth. They do what they need to in order to win awards like you said but that has little meaning to being great as business recruitment and retention. Seems like the chamber is full of the OilCapital type. I'd take a chamber that never wins an award and more concerned about perceptions amongst other chambers and is able to land a new employer that brings in 1,000 new jobs each year (or several of those a year) that isn't a distribution center or call center.

We've never leveraged Tulsa's influence on Hollywood. There's a lot of talent that comes out of this area for the size of the region. Why we don't beat down their door and try to get more studios/production here is beyond me. Some of it is a political issue with the state government and the 'Hollywood Liberals' which really does us no favors. I've always thought a Universal Studios type things would work great here as a mid-America location. The Osage Casino site could make a great location for a production studio/theme park - close to downtown and in a pretty area. Maybe one of the tribes will be able to make something like the work in the future. I'm not too hopeful that the state would be much help in this regard ever. Austin was very successful in leveraging this to create a new national image.

Spot on.  Your spot is the same one I thought of --- grab 3,000 acres out there and inadvertently give north Tulsa proper a new life.  Also, think of this --- its crazy and even I don't think plausible.  But daydream.  Build HollyFrontier a new refinery off the Port of Catoosa on the way up to Claremore - unlikely another refinery will be built anywhere --- but maybe it's a hybrid energy facility.  Then take the old Sunoco Refinery and it's 800+ acres for Disney's Route 66 America ---- becomes huge tourism district to include a Branson Landing or mixed-use on site of old Sinclair refinery including a corporate HQs and housing, museums, hotels -----  A huge Cabela's -like facility with sports facilities.  The River West Festival grounds could be a huge Tulsa Landing type thing with hotel, etc.   --- just a daydream and in changing times probably even more remote than a daydream.  But Downtown would take off --- monorail to CBD & BOK Center/Convention Center.  I like Arts District, but my, oh, my what you could make out of south downtown and uptown.  Build a Klyde Warren Park over sunken B.A. from Boston to Cheyenne --- unite downtown and uptown as an expanded downtown.  Ring Veterans Park with condo/apt. towers, plush hotel.  OK.  I'm done.       
     
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« Reply #49 on: October 06, 2020, 10:01:05 am »

Good ideas.  As you can probably tell I'm more of an outdoor recreationist so more park space close to downtown and a river we can use would be a better amenity IMO.  My dream would be to see the Mid-Continent concrete plant transformed into a larger River West Festival Park with wide open spaces and also tons more trees planted, but also preserving some of the industrial pieces like the batch plant towers and the red-tiled roof office (which would make a great community center for the neighborhood).  Add to that better access to the river with a dock area and enlarged boathouse where you could rent kayaks, SUP and paddle boats.  On the other side the cove completely redevelop the Waterside Apartments into a denser residential community fronting the river and next to OSUHSC.  Some kind of mixed-use portion around the cove next to the docks would be a good place for a couple restaurants with outdoor seating on the water, the skyline views from that location are fantastic.  Finally...replace the SW Blvd bridge with an iconic new Rt 66 bridge that bookends the north end of Zink Lake, and open the old Rt 66 Avery bridge back up for pedestrian/cyclists. 
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« Reply #50 on: October 06, 2020, 12:36:07 pm »

Here is an article from the Tulsa World in 1996 when the curtain fell on Memorex Telex. Roger Wheelers death did have some impact on Telex, but that was a small part of the story. I also remember WilTel/Worlcom, that was one of the smartest things Williams did was to use shut down portions of the pipeline network because the pipelines were at end of life, to then run that new technology of fiber optics across the country.

https://tulsaworld.com/archive/flood-of-changes-drowned-memorex-telex/article_fd4d1325-7e35-5564-9908-47bab722f342.html
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« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2020, 12:49:46 pm »

Vyvx, WilTel's fiber network has an intersting story as well. It was acquired by Century Link, who's history goes back to good old Ma Bell days thru Qwest/US West/Mountain Bell, Level 3 Communications and Global Crossing, and is now part of the Google Cloud Network.

https://tulsaworld.com/archive/vyvx-expands-internationally/article_b04df63f-0d7f-5845-a0aa-ae0d2525371e.html

https://tulsaworld.com/business/technology/level-3-sells-vyvx-llc-for-129-million/article_3451bc56-772b-54bb-84e6-4e2323638bd8.html

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/level-3-combines-vyvx-services-with-global-crossings-genesis-solutions-to-expand-international-video-fiber-platform-131582138.html

https://www.capacitymedia.com/articles/3823424/centurylink-connects-vyvx-media-service-into-google-cloud

https://tulsaworld.com/archive/tulsa-based-vyvx-to-provide-super-bowl-fiber-optic-link/article_a9bb5810-25bb-5e3f-8e33-29ff56e6f144.html

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20051213005713/en/Vyvx-Ranks-Among-Industry-Leaders-in-World-Teleport-Association-Top-Teleport-Operators-Awards
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« Reply #52 on: October 06, 2020, 04:19:07 pm »

Spot on.  Your spot is the same one I thought of --- grab 3,000 acres out there and inadvertently give north Tulsa proper a new life.  Also, think of this --- its crazy and even I don't think plausible.  But daydream.  Build HollyFrontier a new refinery off the Port of Catoosa on the way up to Claremore - unlikely another refinery will be built anywhere --- but maybe it's a hybrid energy facility.  Then take the old Sunoco Refinery and it's 800+ acres for Disney's Route 66 America ---- becomes huge tourism district to include a Branson Landing or mixed-use on site of old Sinclair refinery including a corporate HQs and housing, museums, hotels -----  A huge Cabela's -like facility with sports facilities.  The River West Festival grounds could be a huge Tulsa Landing type thing with hotel, etc.   --- just a daydream and in changing times probably even more remote than a daydream.  But Downtown would take off --- monorail to CBD & BOK Center/Convention Center.  I like Arts District, but my, oh, my what you could make out of south downtown and uptown.  Build a Klyde Warren Park over sunken B.A. from Boston to Cheyenne --- unite downtown and uptown as an expanded downtown.  Ring Veterans Park with condo/apt. towers, plush hotel.  OK.  I'm done.        
      

Check out the new DECOPOLIS Discovitorium and TulsaRama! on Route 66!  

It's basically a teeny tiny, itty bitty, microscopic version of what I would like to build Disney park scale. TulsaRama Town Square with its Art Deco streetscape and an Art Deco Museum (could eventually be the National Art Deco Museum), Mesmer Island with its volcano, caves, dinosaurs and tikis, FableRealm with its fantasy theme and art deco castle, the Discovitorium with its Sci-fi Steampunk/Art Deco, time travel theming, etc. We even have the start of our own stories (Wizard of DECOPOLIS, Lindy Hopper & Wildcatter Will, the Discovitorium) and cartoon character series (TulsaRama Gang!)

Started off with a 20 square foot space in a Jenks Flea market, moved to a small space downtown in which we started exploring and developing our theming and stories, started the small art deco museum, then moved to a larger space (in a big rush due to certain circumstances) and now we have had the chance to take our time and design/build up from start to finish our new spot.  Next few years will be anchoring things in and getting the business to make good money (I am not hand building everything the next round lol) along with some other synergistic projects we are working on.  Next phase will be to buy our own property and start the real thing!

Support and help promote DECOPOLIS and I will keep plugging away towards that big dream!  
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 04:20:38 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: October 06, 2020, 09:34:11 pm »

I feel like our outdoor recreation activities get overlooked compared to other southern/midwestern cities.  Places like Turkey Mountain for mtn biking, rock climbing in Chandler Park, hiking in the Keystone Ancient Forest, jogging and cycling along the miles of river trails, Gathering Place, big lakes all around the city not to mention the Ozarks only a couple hours to the east.  

The Arkansas River whitewater flume will be a cool amenity and if the new Zink Dam allows more boating (kayaking/SUP) on the lake behind it that will give us even more water recreation options.  Lake Bixhoma is already a great spot for this and a hidden gem in the Conjada Hills south of Bixby.  The Keystone Ancient Forest is another gem; Chandler Park has similar topographical features and a ton of land to expand to its west.  Iíve had people visit Tulsa and have remarked how many outdoor activities can be done in and around the city.


I still don't get it...why we can't get more 'traction' in attracting companies.

There are some big things that I have heard from people about Oklahoma in general.   First, turnpikes in particular Tulsa.  Can't go any major direction without paying to get in or out.  Second, our ongoing bouts of national embarrassment.  We just keep doing such stupid stuff, it's tough to get your head around it.

But....  We aren't the only ones with turnpikes - New Jersey has a lot of them and they have companies that build $510 Billion in GDP.  $57,000 per capita GDP.  We have a little more than half the population they have and we only have $197 Billion GDP (noticeably less than half) or $43,000 per capita GDP.   Plus, New Jersey has it's own particular kind of 'rep' that I would think make it less desirable than us.  But I have also known and talked to a LOT of truckers who actively avoid going through Oklahoma specifically due to the turnpikes.  But cruise through NJ without a thought.   NJ does have much nicer rest areas and turnpike facilities, though.

National embarrassment - well that ya just can't fix.  It's the whole "can't fix stupid" thing.   But again, other states have their stupid, too.  SC has Lindsey Graham.   Kentucky has Moscow Mitch.  And we still have Jim Inhofe...that may be a big part of it - he has voiced many 'national embarrassment' things in the past.






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I donít share my thoughts because I think it will change the minds of people who think differently.  I share my thoughts to show the people who already think like me that they are not alone.
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« Reply #54 on: October 07, 2020, 05:27:28 am »

Good ideas.  As you can probably tell I'm more of an outdoor recreationist so more park space close to downtown and a river we can use would be a better amenity IMO.  My dream would be to see the Mid-Continent concrete plant transformed into a larger River West Festival Park with wide open spaces and also tons more trees planted, but also preserving some of the industrial pieces like the batch plant towers and the red-tiled roof office (which would make a great community center for the neighborhood).  Add to that better access to the river with a dock area and enlarged boathouse where you could rent kayaks, SUP and paddle boats.  On the other side the cove completely redevelop the Waterside Apartments into a denser residential community fronting the river and next to OSUHSC.  Some kind of mixed-use portion around the cove next to the docks would be a good place for a couple restaurants with outdoor seating on the water, the skyline views from that location are fantastic.  Finally...replace the SW Blvd bridge with an iconic new Rt 66 bridge that bookends the north end of Zink Lake, and open the old Rt 66 Avery bridge back up for pedestrian/cyclists. 

When do we start?
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« Reply #55 on: October 07, 2020, 05:32:18 am »

Check out the new DECOPOLIS Discovitorium and TulsaRama! on Route 66!  

It's basically a teeny tiny, itty bitty, microscopic version of what I would like to build Disney park scale. TulsaRama Town Square with its Art Deco streetscape and an Art Deco Museum (could eventually be the National Art Deco Museum), Mesmer Island with its volcano, caves, dinosaurs and tikis, FableRealm with its fantasy theme and art deco castle, the Discovitorium with its Sci-fi Steampunk/Art Deco, time travel theming, etc. We even have the start of our own stories (Wizard of DECOPOLIS, Lindy Hopper & Wildcatter Will, the Discovitorium) and cartoon character series (TulsaRama Gang!)

Started off with a 20 square foot space in a Jenks Flea market, moved to a small space downtown in which we started exploring and developing our theming and stories, started the small art deco museum, then moved to a larger space (in a big rush due to certain circumstances) and now we have had the chance to take our time and design/build up from start to finish our new spot.  Next few years will be anchoring things in and getting the business to make good money (I am not hand building everything the next round lol) along with some other synergistic projects we are working on.  Next phase will be to buy our own property and start the real thing!

Support and help promote DECOPOLIS and I will keep plugging away towards that big dream!  



You got it. Let's do it.   I bought 3-4 coffee table books and 3 Tulsaopoly board games from your Boston Ave. location a couple years ago.  Still there too?   I'd like to take a mile of 11th street and take it back to 1945-50 Rt. 66 --- like a visual time tunnel --- a real life movie backlot w/ the modern stuff behind the facades.  From buildings to street lamps and billboards...
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TulsaBeMore
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« Reply #56 on: October 07, 2020, 05:42:10 am »


I still don't get it...why we can't get more 'traction' in attracting companies.

There are some big things that I have heard from people about Oklahoma in general.   First, turnpikes in particular Tulsa.  Can't go any major direction without paying to get in or out.  Second, our ongoing bouts of national embarrassment.  We just keep doing such stupid stuff, it's tough to get your head around it.

But....  We aren't the only ones with turnpikes - New Jersey has a lot of them and they have companies that build $510 Billion in GDP.  $57,000 per capita GDP.  We have a little more than half the population they have and we only have $197 Billion GDP (noticeably less than half) or $43,000 per capita GDP.   Plus, New Jersey has it's own particular kind of 'rep' that I would think make it less desirable than us.  But I have also known and talked to a LOT of truckers who actively avoid going through Oklahoma specifically due to the turnpikes.  But cruise through NJ without a thought.   NJ does have much nicer rest areas and turnpike facilities, though.

National embarrassment - well that ya just can't fix.  It's the whole "can't fix stupid" thing.   But again, other states have their stupid, too.  SC has Lindsey Graham.   Kentucky has Moscow Mitch.  And we still have Jim Inhofe...that may be a big part of it - he has voiced many 'national embarrassment' things in the past.




There is definitely something structural here that KC, OKC, Dallas, NW Arkansas don't have.  I don't know if its that Tulsa is not actually welcoming --- it's a who you are and who you know place.  Don't know, but its not good. OKC had to get real --- that place had largely devolved into a sewer and the people there acknowledged it and said enough.  That's not who we're going to be.  Tulsa has never been anywhere near there - but do we admit stuff? Seems we like to think we are something and live in some bubble of unreality.  Winning Chamber awards, etc. must mean we're there - Idk.  There's something lacking.  That 31st & Peoria mixed-use thing is deader than a door nail.  We can't do simple things.  And we live in the past too much, maybe.  Things are controlled by 2nd, 3rd & 4th generations of the city's founders - a caretaker class, not a creative dynamo class.  This could all be misguided blather.  Gathering Place is incredible --- but everyone thought it was a game changer.  Has it been that, so far --- COVID issues excluded?  Other cities have parks --- maybe not as nice, but they exist and many are very impressive.  OKC's new park gets the job done.  Anyway... 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2020, 05:46:33 am by TulsaBeMore » Logged
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« Reply #57 on: October 07, 2020, 06:10:44 am »


I was with Vyvx for 14 years. Very interesting but stressful job and extremely difficult to explain to people when they ask "what do you do for a living?". Small bonus - got to check "win an Emmy" off my bucketlist.  Grin
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Tulsan
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« Reply #58 on: October 07, 2020, 08:47:06 am »

There is definitely something structural here that KC, OKC, Dallas, NW Arkansas don't have.  I don't know if its that Tulsa is not actually welcoming --- it's a who you are and who you know place.  Don't know, but its not good. OKC had to get real --- that place had largely devolved into a sewer and the people there acknowledged it and said enough.  That's not who we're going to be.  Tulsa has never been anywhere near there - but do we admit stuff? Seems we like to think we are something and live in some bubble of unreality.  Winning Chamber awards, etc. must mean we're there - Idk.  There's something lacking.  That 31st & Peoria mixed-use thing is deader than a door nail.  We can't do simple things.  And we live in the past too much, maybe.  Things are controlled by 2nd, 3rd & 4th generations of the city's founders - a caretaker class, not a creative dynamo class.  This could all be misguided blather.  Gathering Place is incredible --- but everyone thought it was a game changer.  Has it been that, so far --- COVID issues excluded?  Other cities have parks --- maybe not as nice, but they exist and many are very impressive.  OKC's new park gets the job done.  Anyway... 

This is my impression as well.
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« Reply #59 on: October 07, 2020, 12:43:13 pm »

Telex is a very over looked historical point and makes you wonder what might have happened if Roger Wheeler wasn't shot to death. We've had two points where we could have made a significant pivot to technology and we could easily have been in Austin's position now... somehow we just keep coming back to O&G though. For a while our city government seemed to have a defeatist attitude during some of these swings.

The other point in time was the dot.com bubble when we had WorldCom, WilTel, etc. which crashed and burned. Tulsa has a history of being able to be competitive in the technology landscape we just seem to forget about it very quickly. Even though the long-term viability of these businesses didn't work (and I know these are different types of 'tech' than what is growing now) it doesn't mean Tulsa can't recruit talent to the area, grow companies, and facilitate the resources needed for these companies and various industries. We just need someone or a company to take a chance. All it'd take is someone like Google to open a small regional office and demonstrate it's possible to recruit and retain talent. We almost need someone to just give away the whole house for free to get a big fish into town to set the precedent that it can work here again/today.
 

The 'me too' isn't always bad, we just have to make sure whatever we do is quality, the BOK Center is a good example. Leadership failures here resulted in several rushed proposals that delayed a new arena far beyond what it should have been, but at least in the end we gained something that has been a huge asset to Tulsa and is top quality. OneOk Field is a good example too. The Arts District investments stemmed from wanting a Tulsa Bricktown (which Bricktown is the height of 'me too' given it is a much crappier version of San Antonio) but we at least have been able to take that idea and make it into something that is uniquely Tulsa with emphasis on neighborhood assets like the Cain's and building on music/arts. We just have to be careful to not fall into the trap and make sure what we do is not just a carbon copy of another city, but use other cities as inspiration.



Telex was the ultimate "me too".  They did not innovate, they copied.  As did the others you mentioned - WorldCom, WilTel, etc..  They took the innovators idea and said, "me too".  Telex was NEVER on a par with IBM, not even close!  Regardless of the issues IBM has had over the decades, they were always ahead of Telex across the board.  Roger Wheeler alive would have made no difference.  By that point they were already in DeLorean mode - in financial trouble and flailing wildly.  And yeah, there was even a 'cocaine mode' of operation there for a while.

Google has a local presence.  In Pryor at Mid-America.  Has been there for years.





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"So he brandished a gun, never shot anyone or anything right?"  --TeeDub, 17 Feb 2018.

I donít share my thoughts because I think it will change the minds of people who think differently.  I share my thoughts to show the people who already think like me that they are not alone.
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