TULSA, Okla — All the excitement and energy from today’s event is a sign Tulsa and our economy is rebounding, with organizers saying our city exceeded their expectations.
Organizers tell 2 News this event couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as Tulsa emerges bigger and better after then pandemic.
The Piedmontese Certified North American IRONMAN Championship event brought nearly fourteen million dollars to our area.
Ray Hoyt, the president of Tulsa Regional Tourism, says Sunday’s sporting event is a much needed boost following 80% in losses caused by the pandemic.
“Coming out of the pandemic, it’s really important to get that money back into the community — the restaurants, the hotels, retail, all the things that happen around this event.”, Hoyt says.
Tourism is the third largest industry here in the Sooner State, and a 1.7 billion dollar industry in the Tulsa metro area.
Hoyt says the sales tax raised from visitors over the weekend will help support police, fire, and the general tax fund.
“We want those 10 million visitors to come back and this is a great way to really kick that off.”, Hoyt says.
That’s why they’ve contracted with the IRONMAN group to host the race in the next two years and are hoping to renew it for more years to come.
Scott Langen with the IRONMAN group says, “why not Tulsa? It’s got a rich endurance community, you have the Tulsa Tough, the Tulsa Marathon, and this just makes sense to add that into that portfolio of events, it’s got something unique that our athletes don’t have at every event within the IRONMAN circuit..you’ve got a great downtown, also nightlife, so therefore it gives some of the spectators and the families some more things to do and more opportunities to experience the town.”
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