Expo

Foot traffic slowed, then stopped entirely.

And when people stopped coming in, so did the revenue.

Like many businesses, multiple city entities were forced to close their doors as part of the national and state COVID-19 response plan.

With revenue not coming in, both Claremore Recreation Center and Claremore Expo Center sought financial help from the city.

"…because COVID shut them down for six weeks and they rely solely on having people in their buildings and at their events, they've lost revenue," said Suzan Maloy, executive director of budget and finance for the city, explaining the $180,000 budget adjustment that was ultimately approved by Claremore City Council.

"The Recreation Center had a reduction in revenue from February 1 to June 1 of approximately $105,000 versus the same time period from the previous fiscal year.  We canceled all organized practices, leagues, aerobics classes, and closed child care due to COVID-19," said Rec Center Director Mitch Louderback. "With the lifting of some of the Oklahoma Covid-19 restrictions, we are happy that our customers are able to once again enjoy and utilize the Recreation Center while practicing proper safety guidelines."

The hit to the expo center and tourism sector were significant, too.

Expo/Tourism Director Tanya Andrews said spring is typically her busiest time of the year, but due to COVID-19 everything was cancelled.

"In early March the first cases starting showing up in Oklahoma, which prompted Emergency Orders by both the State of Oklahoma and the City leadership to take action in order to keep our citizens and businesses safe. These orders included the cancellation of numerous events here at the Expo Center, and in the community. Spring happens to be our busiest time of the year, unfortunately for us that is when COVID-19 hit," Andrews said. "By the cancellation of these events the domino effect went to hotels, restaurants/caterers, museums, and retail businesses and affected the sales taxes of both the city and the county.  For example the loss of the dog show in March resulted in our average hotel occupancy for this year to decrease by 53%; in other words during last year's dog show the occupancy was 85 percent for the 5-day show, and this year it was 32 percent for the dates it would have been in town. The RV Park also experienced a sharp drop in guests, when the show was canceled; the result of the cancelation meant a decrease in RV revenues for us. All of these folks, both in the hotels and the RV Park, frequent their favorite restaurants and shops when they are in town also resulting in a loss of sales taxes. "

She said more than two months of events were wiped from the calendar.

The events cancelled included: Tulsa Car Club Swap Meet, Claremore Dog Show, Claremore Home & Garden, Green Country HamFest, Green Country Ranch Rodeo, Will Rogers Classic Cattle Show, RSU Graduation, Welsh Pony Show, Green Country Dressage.

While two of these events were able to reschedule for late July, Andrews said the rest were cancelled.

"The revenues the Expo lost are approximately $70,000, based on rental rates from last year. Rates include the equipment rentals, sound, staging, bleachers, and staff time to run equipment during a show if needed," she said. "Community events canceled that also resulted in a loss of business for us and community partners include: Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo, the Oklahoma Military Academy Reunion at RSU, the annual Totem Pole BBQ and Music Fest, and Food Truck Thursday just to name a few."

Andrews added, "To reschedule these events is not easy, given our events that are scheduled starting in July. Due to COVID-19 and not knowing when things would open back up, many events canceled in advance in order to let their show folks know (that includes their vendors, contestants or participants, and the residents).

"The loss of event revenues and lodging taxes, both of which fund our department resulted in an immediate freeze on spending," she said. "However, we will have a slight loss at the end of the fiscal year as the city council approved a transfer for our budget to break even."t them down for six weeks and they rely solely on having people in their buildings and at their events, they've lost revenue," said Suzan Maloy, executive director of budget and finance for the city, explaining the $180,000 budget adjustment that was ultimately approved by Claremore City Council.

"The Recreation Center had a reduction in revenue from February 1 to June 1 of approximately $105,000 versus the same time period from the previous fiscal year.  We canceled all organized practices, leagues, aerobics classes, and closed child care due to COVID-19," said Rec Center Director Mitch Louderback. "With the lifting of some of the Oklahoma Covid-19 restrictions, we are happy that our customers are able to once again enjoy and utilize the Recreation Center while practicing proper safety guidelines."

The hit to the expo center and tourism sector were significant, too.

Expo/Tourism Director Tanya Andrews said spring is typically her busiest time of the year, but due to COVID-19 everything was cancelled.

"In early March the first cases starting showing up in Oklahoma, which prompted Emergency Orders by both the State of Oklahoma and the City leadership to take action in order to keep our citizens and businesses safe. These orders included the cancelation of numerous events here at the Expo Center, and in the community. Spring happens to be our busiest time of the year, unfortunately for us that is when COVID-19 hit," Andrews said. "By the cancelation of these events the domino effect went to hotels, restaurants/caterers, museums, and retail businesses and affected the sales taxes of both the city and the county.  For example the loss of the dog show in March resulted in our average hotel occupancy for this year to decrease by 53%; in other words during last year's dog show the occupancy was 85 percent for the 5-day show, and this year it was 32 percent for the dates it would have been in town. The RV Park also experienced a sharp drop in guests, when the show was canceled; the result of the cancelation meant a decrease in RV revenues for us. All of these folks, both in the hotels and the RV Park, frequent their favorite restaurants and shops when they are in town also resulting in a loss of sales taxes. "

She said more than two months of events were wiped from the calendar.

The events cancelled included: Tulsa Car Club Swap Meet, Claremore Dog Show, Claremore Home & Garden, Green Country HamFest, Green Country Ranch Rodeo, Will Rogers Classic Cattle Show, RSU Graduation, Welsh Pony Show, Green Country Dressage.

While two of these events were able to reschedule for late July, Andrews said the rest were cancelled.

"The revenues the Expo lost are approximately $70,000, based on rental rates from last year. Rates include the equipment rentals, sound, staging, bleachers, and staff time to run equipment during a show if needed," she said. "Community events canceled that also resulted in a loss of business for us and community partners include: Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo, the Oklahoma Military Academy Reunion at RSU, the annual Totem Pole BBQ and Music Fest, and Food Truck Thursday just to name a few."

Andrews added, "To reschedule these events is not easy, given our events that are scheduled starting in July. Due to COVID-19 and not knowing when things would open back up, many events canceled in advance in order to let their show folks know (that includes their vendors, contestants or participants, and the residents).

"The loss of event revenues and lodging taxes, both of which fund our department resulted in an immediate freeze on spending," she said. "However, we will have a slight loss at the end of the fiscal year as the city council approved a transfer for our budget to break even."

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