The Norman Transcript


July 4, 2013

Toby Keith concert makes Norman merchants sing



“I can’t imagine it not being a great thing for Moore, Oklahoma as well as for Norman,” Smith said.

On Campus Corner, merchants are unsure how much boost in business they will garner from the show that starts at 3 p.m. and runs until 11 p.m., but they anticipate an influx of foot traffic throughout the day.

“We’re planning on a big day,” said Jeff Stewart, owner of O’Connell’s Irish Pub and Grill.

Campus Corner Merchants will contribute a portion of their proceeds on Saturday to the relief fund. Several merchants have already helped feed the crews that are here setting up for the event.

Ford Trucks, Verizon, Wal-Mart, and the Association for Country Music Lifting Lives are the show sponsors. Those sponsorships will allow 100 percent of ticket proceeds — minus credit card merchant fees and Oklahoma sales tax — to benefit the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund to aid recovery efforts.

The doors will open at 1:30 on Saturday.

“Toby did it the right way,” said Smith. “I think its going to be a regional draw.”

The Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau reports that area hotels are seeing an influx of guests in connection with the concert.

Embassy Suites Norman said they have seen a lift in room bookings.

“We’re excited for Norman,” said General Manager Michael Vance. “We’re excited to open up our doors and have a sold out weekend. We’ll roll out the welcome mat to visitors coming to Norman for the event. We’re happy to be part of helping to put the spotlight on Norman for such a great cause.”

The Hilton Garden Inn staff also said they have seen an increase of bookings from the concert.

“Yes, we are booked,” said Mayra Cordero, La Quinta sales manager. “It is a result of the concert.”

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