By BOB LEWIS, Managing Editor
Telling the community's story as an under-served market were retail consultant Rickey Hayes and Tammy Fate, director of marketing for the Broken Arrow Economic Development Corp.
A concentrated program by the Broken Arrow Economic Development Corp. to build the city's retail base has taken several giant steps forward - all the way to Las Vegas and the International Council of Shopping Centers conference.
Telling the story of BA as an under-served market were retail development consultant Rickey Hayes and Tammy Fate, director of marketing for the BAEDC.
In what turned out to be a whirlwind weekend, the two met with 15 different organizations consisting of developers and national retailers from across the United States and made brief contacts with scores of others.
"As a first timer attending ICSC, I wasn't sure what to expect. Rickey was a great mentor. He has been involved in the retail arena for many years and definitely knows the ropes and is highly respected among these folks," Fate said.
"I had heard many stories about the intensity and the quick pace at the conference. They were all true. Pre-registration attendance was more than 43,000 people.
"I learned very quickly it is imperative to attend this conference if you expect your city to grow in terms of retail development. It's a place where many deals begin and others wrap up.
"Retailers usually have a goal of how many new stores they plan to open each year. It's important to make sure our name is constantly in front of them and they know that Broken Arrow is ready to do business."
A few of the areas highlighted at the conference included StoneWood Hills, Aspen Creek and The Parks at Adams Creek, Fate said.
"All of our marketing material was saved to USB flash drives and given to developers. Apparently, we were the only ones doing that, and our handouts were especially popular."
Fate said the number of rooftops, average family household income, growth and population were the hot topics of discussions from meeting to meeting.
"Broken Arrow's consistent growth, energy and leadership makes it an enjoyable place to market," she said. "I believe Broken Arrow is headed for many great things."