County already hot online, likely to get hotter

Robert Smith

Osage County, Oklahoma is already a hot topic online, and is likely to become even more popular this year.

Tourism Director Kelly Bland said Osage County Tourism receives an average of roughly 3 million impressions a year on Facebook alone. Osage County Tourism also has a presence on social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, and the county has invested in a six-month digital media campaign that started Jan. 1, 2020, and is to last six months.

Add to that the following: In the past year, Osage County Tourism had its website, Visit The Osage, redesigned in its entirety, and added hotel booking capabilities to drive business to stakeholders straight from the website; and Osage County Tourism started the “Osagin’ It” Podcast now up on ITunes, Spotify, Google Play, Outcast, and additional platforms.

The county’s image is also receiving a boost from more traditional media organizations, Bland said, citing items in Southern Living magazine about Mac’s Barbecue in Skiatook and the Oilman’s Daughter, a Pawhuska lodging establishment. Additionally, National Geographic magazine ran a cover story about the Tallgrass Prairie, and the Discover Oklahoma television program filmed an episode in Osage County.

Bland said she thinks the interest in Osage County that has already been demonstrated could skyrocket if the movie being made based on the bestselling book “Killers of the Flower Moon” does well at the box office.

“Much is in the works and always subject to change – so I am cautiously saying - if it all comes together, the forecast looks amazing,” she said.

The area where the county has the greatest need for improvement is lodging capacity, she said.

“I would like to see at least a couple of chain hotels in the county — maybe one in Skiatook and one in Pawhuska — so we could canvas the county with lodging options and a wider variety of experiences for our tourists,” Bland said. “I don’t think it would affect the Airbnb businesses at all, because they are currently supported by the smaller groups coming, such as families or friends. I believe we have room for the casinos, motels, Airbnbs, the Postoak Lodge, and a couple of chain hotels to flourish.”