Director says app ready for download

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com

County Tourism Director Kelly Bland on Monday told Osage County Commissioners that an online application, or app, intended to help tourists and tour operators prepare trip itineraries is ready for download.

“This just became the hub of Osage County tourism, as far as getting the word out,” Bland said. “We feel like it’s a great marketing tool.”

For more information about the app, or about Osage County tourism offerings, call Bland at 918-210-9788, or email her at VisitTheOsage@gmail.com. In an interview Tuesday morning Bland said the app is available at the App Store, and she said that she needed to add a link to the Visit the Osage website.

Bland also briefed county commissioners Monday about the status of a tourism-information kiosk at Hominy. The location of the kiosk is within the right-of-way for a road project, Bland said. She explained that people handling the right-of-way acquisition have offered to buy the kiosk or to pay to relocate it.

Bland said Gary Lanham, a new member of the county’s Tourism Oversight Committee, will be speaking with officials in the Hominy area about the future of the kiosk.

Lanham told the Journal-Capital that matters regarding the kiosk are in the exploratory stage, and he is still planning some discussions with officials.

Bland commented favorably Monday on community activities held the previous weekend. Skiatook, which held its annual Pioneer Day celebration, is located partially in Osage County and partially in Tulsa County. While that community’s rodeo arena is in Tulsa County, Skiatook went out of its way to help promote Osage County tourism, Bland said. She voiced thanks for Skiatook’s help.

“The rodeo was so packed I had the best seat on the fence because you couldn’t get one in the stands,” Bland said of Skiatook’s rodeo activity.

District 1 County Commissioner Jerry Howerton said despite problems with the air-conditioning at the Women’s Building at the Osage County fairgrounds, the annual county free fair was well-attended.

In other tourism-related discussion Monday, Fairfax resident Jerry Butterbaugh told Bland and the commissioners that he is favorably impressed by an electronic sign that the city of Blackwell uses to draw attention to current events.

“That would be really helpful,” Butterbaugh said.

Bland said that she had separately come to a similar conclusion, and has become interested in mounting an electronic sign somewhere, such as the side of the Frontier Hotel in Pawhuska.

In other tourism business Monday, the commissioners voted to appropriate $1,030 in support of Heritage Days in Fairfax, and $970 for a half-page ad in Kaw Lake Magazine.

Bland said she would like to work to make sure tourism support dollars are invested in events throughout the county.