“We are a rodeo town.”
That’s what Jim Curtiss, executive director of the Woodward Tourism and Convention Bureau, said as he addressed members of the Woodward Tourism Committee during their monthly meeting Thursday afternoon.
Curtiss was discussing why the Tourism and Convention Bureau (TCB) had promised a substantial grant to the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association to help attract the association to hold its 3 annual events in Woodward. By offering this monetary support and other incentives, he said the TCB was able to secure an agreement with the high school rodeo association to hold its events here for 3 years.
“Basically what we offered them was $10,000 (a year) and putting the arena together and taking care things like that,” he said.
However, Curtiss said he is still working out a contract to reflect that 3-year agreement because of certain limitations that “ha(ve) to do with the bonding agreement for the renovations at Crystal Beach.”
“We cannot give automatic renewals,” he said.
So he is working with others in the city administration to develop a contract that does not conflict with the bonding agreement, but still solidifies the 3-year commitment.
However, City Manager Alan Riffel, who was in attendance at Thursday’s meeting, didn’t seem to think there would be a problem with ultimately upholding the agreement.
Riffel told the tourism committee, “you may have to act on it a few times,” as far as approving the funding each year instead of a one-time approval for all 3-years.
The committee then voted Thursday to approve the $10,000 grant for this year’s Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association events, which will be held in October, April 2011, and June 2011.
Keeping with the rodeo theme, tourism committee also voted Thursday to support the Oklahoma Junior High Rodeo Association in the amount of $8,500, for another 3 events, including one this weekend and their finals in June 2011.
In other business, the tourism board heard from Mark Sweet, Leonard Davidson and Loggan Smith about plans for next year’s Windy 100 and what they’ve already done to start promoting the event.
Specifically all 3 mentioned recently attending the “Hotter ‘N Hell” bike event in Wichita Falls, Texas, on the weekend of Aug. 28.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm for the Windy 100,” Davidson said.
Both he and Smith noted that even in its first year Woodward was ahead of where many other bike races were when they started.
“We started out with more participants than anywhere else,” Davidson said.
“We had 256 registration in our first year,” Smith said, noting that is amazing even in comparison to the Hotter ‘N Hell, which “didn’t break 250 registrations until its 4th year.”
The Hotter ‘N Hell recently held its 29th annual event with more than 15,000 tour and professional riders, he said.
In addition, Smith claimed that the Hotter ‘N Hell “didn’t break even financially until its 10th year,” while he expects the Windy 100 to break even on registrations covering prize money this very next year.
“I think it would be an injustice not to keep this moving,” Davidson said, noting his desire to see the tourism committee to support the Windy 100 when the proper applications are submitted at a later date.