Marketing Small Town, Big City Features
When choosing a new location, companies look at a variety of factors. Everything from the number of colleges and universities in the area to tax structures or the availability of workers may drive one project. Other projects may be more concerned with your community’s access to high speed internet and rail lines, but also have a strong emphasis on a vibrant downtown. They value easy ways for their employees to engage with the community. With all these hypothetical requirements in mind, it is no wonder that many large projects often end up in or near major metropolitan areas- they can put a check mark next to each one!
So, what are smaller, more rural communities like Ardmore to do? We are constantly marketing the many benefits of Southern Oklahoma! Over the past month, the ADA team has been participating in promotional opportunities with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team and others at the Industrial Asset Managers Conference, the National Business Aviation Association Annual Show, as well as scheduled trips to Houston and Southern California.
Ardmore is a highly attractive location to many companies because of our proximity to Oklahoma City and Dallas. As the regional hub for South Central Oklahoma, many Ardmore employers draw employees from as far away as Norman or Denton. As far as education is concerned, we are fortunate to have community partners in the Southern Tech and the University Center of Southern Oklahoma to train and educate employees to meet company needs. Ardmore’s location on Interstate 35 is also a major advantage over other areas, especially when combined with the development underway at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark. (Did you know that our airpark is one of only five in the country that can boast interstate access, a rail loop, and a runway large enough to accommodate large freight airplanes? That’s right, five.)
When people aren’t working there’s also plenty to do in Ardmore. The number of shopping and dining destinations is continuously growing. Downtown Ardmore is transforming before our eyes with new businesses and updated facades popping up all the time. For artists, CREATE Ardmore and the Goddard Center help foster and inspire creativity through plays, workshops, and concerts. If you’re more of an outdoor enthusiast your days can be spent at Lake Murray or on the trails surrounding Turner Falls or the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Additional recreational opportunities exist with Urban Air, the Escape Room and Regional Park’s development of The Clubhouse.
If it isn’t obvious already, Ardmore can compete with Oklahoma City and Dallas and many other metropolitan areas across the United States. Do we have struggles? Yes. However, look at how far we’ve come in the last five years. The Ardmore Vision 2025 is creating even a greater vision of what we can be in just a few short years. There is an energy and excitement in Ardmore that grows every day. As we like to say at the Ardmore Development Authority and Chamber of Commerce, stay tuned- the best is yet to come!