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What Are the Advantages of Having Multiple, Thriving Business Districts In a City?

Three leaders involved with Oklahoma City’s business districts talk about why having strong, vibrant districts helps the city’s economy.

Phi Nguyen

DOWNTOWN OKLAHOMA CITY PARTNERSHIP CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Having multiple options of flourishing and active business districts allows OKC to position itself as a destination and a place worthy of investment. Our districts highlight the vibrancy and diversity our downtown and all the city has to offer. These communities provide a sense of belonging and identity for retailers, restaurants and businesses. These choices in districts give OKC the opportunity for continued development, better connectivity and overall resiliency.

Chad Huntington

WATER TAXI CEO

Real cities — VIBRANT ones, anyway — have multiple thriving districts, period. The strength of a quality city is a diversity of choices. A variety of options for dining, entertainment, retail and other services makes for a better quality of life for local consumers. However, variety also makes the community a more appealing place in which to live, to work and to visit. Oklahoma City’s visitor economy flies under the radar for most who live here, but it is indeed robust. The most important aspect of this market segment is that visitors pay many millions of dollars into our economy. They support a higher standard of living for locals by supporting the places we love. Unsurprisingly, visitors crave variety, plus authentic, local experiences. That variety can only be found in a city with multiple thriving districts. Fortunately, Oklahoma City — and especially its urban core — has become a great example of such a place.

Audrey Falk

SHOP GOOD OWNER AND AUTOMOBILE ALLEY BOARD MEMBER

Inclusion matters. Creating opportunities is important. It’s exciting to have spaces for people to make connections, meet new people and start businesses that reflect their heritage and better our community. Downtown development that’s concerned about making places — to gather, to share a meal, to enjoy the sunshine or stay out of the rain — makes for a downtown where people want to stay and to engage. Having districts that meet a wide range of needs and attract a diverse group of people makes for a downtown that’s vibrant and vital.

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