On April 29, Enid celebrated the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of the GLo Best Western Enid, OK Downtown and Convention Center Hotel. The new hotel is one of the final parts of the Stride Bank Center. Since the new arena and renovated convention hall opened in 2013 it was known that a hotel connected to the property was essential for the Stride Bank Center to meet its potential. The new hotel dramatically expands the opportunity for new events and conferences in Enid.
The GLo being right on the downtown square is vital to bringing in more conferences and groups to Enid. Many organizations will not bid on a location for their conference if the meeting facility and conference hotel are not on the same property. Having the BW GLo on the downtown square provides a lot of advantages for the conference-goer. It allows visitors to park one time and have close access to the Stride Bank Center, restaurants, retail locations, and entertainment. In May, the Oklahoma Transit Authority was the first group to hold a conference and stay in the new hotel.
Enid’s hotel tax revenue has done exceptionally well compared to other communities, even considering COVID-19. From 2017 to 2020 Enid has generated over $4.6 million in hotel tax revenue. According to Visit Enid, revenue January through April of this year is $843,000 and is will only increase with groups like Koch Fertilizer, Oklahoma Main Street, Oklahoma Game Warden, City Management Association of Oklahoma, and the Northwest Oklahoma Junior Rodeo arriving in the next few months.
Tourism is the front door to economic development in a community because it is often the way people are first introduced to a town. Tourism also provides a tangible boost to local tax revenues. When people outside of Enid visit for any reason they buy food, gasoline, stay in hotels, or spend money at our local shops and the tax revenue goes straight to the bottom line. In Oklahoma, tourism is the No. 3 industry behind Oil & Gas and Agriculture. No doubt, tourism took a major hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as people begin traveling again, many will be looking for things closer to home. Families will look for destinations like Enid that are within a days’ drive. With attractions like Leonardo’s Children Museum, the Junior College World Series, concerts and shows at Stride Bank Center, and even crystal digging at the Great Salt Plains, Enid is a draw for families looking for a quick, fun, relaxing getaway.
We welcome the addition of the GLo hotel to our community and look forward to welcoming new visitors to Enid this year!