ORU researchers to examine TV show impacts

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com

The executive director of Osage County tourism told county commissioners Monday that the College of Business at Oral Roberts University is going to do some research that will examine sales tax collections, lodging tax collections and tourism trends in Pawhuska and in Waco, Texas.

Bland said the research will include a look at the role in Pawhuska of The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, and in Waco of Chip and Joanna Gaines, who own Magnolia Homes and are the stars of the HGTV program “Fixer Upper.”

Additionally, the research will look at income generated by tourism in Osage, Kay and Washington counties, Bland said. She said Osage County Tourism will have the data from the research and will make it available to municipal governments and chambers of commerce in Osage County.

“I’m really excited about having that kind of research done ,” she said. In other business before the county commissioners Monday, Bland requested and received permission to spend up to $2,500 on professional quality promotional videos for Osage County. Bland indicated that 60-second and 30-second versions of the video will likely be developed. This project, also, will be carried out for Osage County by ORU, she explained.

Bland told the commissioners that the county Tourism Board is moving more in the direction of digital media promotions, and away from print media spending.

Bland also reported to the commissioners that Tourism Board member Gary Lanham has worked with the city of Hominy to find a new location for a tourism information kiosk that is being displaced by a road project.