The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 7, 2013

Years spent promoting

NORMAN — Twenty years ago Norman’s Convention and Visitors Bureau began operating out of some space at the Norman Depot.

It was about six years before passenger rail returned to Norman, so the Depot was a logical spot to promote the city.

The NCVB, headed by Danna Fowble, watched as the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History was under construction.

The museum’s 1999 grand opening was a tourism watershed for Norman.

A year later, the Weitzehoffer Collection of impressionist paintings opened in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

Then the Sooners won a national football championship and another statue was needed in Heisman Park.

The National Weather Center opened in 2006, Hey Day and Andy’s Alligator’s Fun Park opened, giving the bureau more entities to promote.

Along the way, the city picked up a downtown music festival that has become nationally known and an Embassy Suites hotel and conference center.

It has also embraced bigger and better events like Jazz in June, the Chocolate Festival, the Medieval Fair and OU sporting events.

Norman tourism was celebrated at a luncheon Monday. ˆ

Board members envisioned many more entities that would help bring additional visitors to the city.

They included more sports venues, an indoor aquatic facility, convention space and hotels.

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