Why Are Some Businesses Coming to Tulsa, Not Oklahoma City? - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Why Are Some Businesses Coming to Tulsa, Not Oklahoma City?

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With the Thunder coming to OKC, many thought there would be an explosion of high-end businesses and restaurants opening downtown. While that hasn't happened, Tulsa is booming with new business. With the Thunder coming to OKC, many thought there would be an explosion of high-end businesses and restaurants opening downtown. While that hasn't happened, Tulsa is booming with new business.

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Quite a few big names businesses are coming to Oklahoma. But they're deciding to set up shop in Tulsa, not in Oklahoma City.

There's no simple answer. City leaders even argue any new business that comes to the state is good for both cities.

It's hard to ignore the flashy commercials for the new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa. They have a lot of people talking about what's going to Tulsa and not to Oklahoma City.

"You never want people in your city to be envious of what goes on in another city," said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.

But some are, even though, a Hard Rock Casino here is not possible, since there's no Indian land in Oklahoma City.

Then there's the BOK Center with big names showing up, while the Ford Center's closed for renovations.

"Our arena's going to have a, like, new appearance here in a couple of years and that trend will revert back and then you'll see the typical competition going on," Cornett said

The popular restaurant and arcade Dave and Buster's also recently opened its doors in Tulsa.

"I think if Tulsa gets good things that's probably good and it probably improves that chances that things are going to happen in Oklahoma City more quickly," Cornett said.

We have something Tulsa doesn't, the NBA, which attracted the nationally known bar Coyote Ugly. Besides that, there hasn't been an explosion of big league developments. The Chamber of Commerce blames that on the economy.

"I think everybody just needs to be a little bit patient in this economic environment," said Cynthia Reid, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. "Companies are waiting to make decisions about their next location, but Oklahoma City is a shining star compared to a lot of other places."

The city's aggressively trying to recruit new businesses. When they'll actually be here, is the question.

"I would love to tell you that for sure we're going to get some of these higher-end restaurants and higher-end destination retail just around the corner, and I think it is just around the corner, but I've been thinking that for a year or two now and it hasn't happened yet,"Cornett said.

The Chamber also says if the business does well in Tulsa, it may then decide to come to Oklahoma City.

The Mayor also suggests focusing on what the city has accomplished instead of what's not happening in Oklahoma City.

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