How did you do it? It’s the question cities across the country are asking Oklahoma City when they see the $100 million (and growing) development of the Oklahoma River that has happened over the course of 15 short years.
Once known as the capital of the “dust bowl” state, Oklahoma City has transformed its image and its economy in large part due to the redevelopment of the once-dry river that runs through the city’s downtown core.
The Boathouse District anchors the downtown development of the river. A row of iconic university and community boathouses are the foundation of the district which also features RIVERSPORT Rapids – a $45 million whitewater rafting and kayaking center – and RIVERSPORT Adventures, a world class outdoor adventure park featuring a sky trail, zip lines, climbing walls, high speed slides, pump tracks and more. The site is also home to the OKC Boathouse Foundation’s National High Performance Center, a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site for both rowing and canoe/kayak.
In less than a decade the Boathouse District has become a community gathering place for collegiate, youth and masters athletes, families enjoying a weekend adventure, canoe/kayak and rowing enthusiasts, Olympic hopefuls in training, and corporate sponsors. World-class racing and festivals attract athletes and spectators from around the world.
To the west, new developments include the Wheeler District, a 158-acre mixed-use neighborhood planned to provide an urban lifestyle with all new retail and all new housing. Ovder the next 15 years developers anticipate adding over 2,000 new housing units, and 100,000 square feet of retail and entertainment. It will be a place to live, work, relax and enjoy the amenities of the Oklahoma River. And less than a mile away, hotel and corporate developments along the Meridian Corridor lead to the city’s airport.
Oklahoma City did not start out as a city with a river at its heart. It wasn’t a rowing or canoe/kayak city. And few people lived downtown, with even fewer along the banks of the once abandoned river bed.
How did we do it? If you’re interested in knowing how you can bring life to your riverfront, contact us. We are RIVERSPORT Solutions, and we are at the center of the development of the Oklahoma River in downtown OKC.
We want to share what we know with you. RIVERSPORT Solutions can show you how to awaken the transformational power of a waterway way through sport. We believe a revolution in the way communities activate their aquatic resources will ultimately lead to an explosion in quality of life, with healthier and happier citizens. A stronger economy and a pipeline that continues to draw the next generation of community leaders will ensure sustainability and ongoing growth.
Please contact Mike Knopp at 405-412-0766 to schedule a phone call or visit to learn how the RIVERSPORT Solutions team can help engage your urban waterway
- Consensus-building community presentations
- Assistance in master plan development for appropriate infrastructure, events and attractions to inspire riverfront activation success
- Sponsorship program development and presentations
- Programming for corporate engagement in riverfront initiatives
- Assistance in the recruitment of key personnel
- Development of signature riverfront events and attractions with assistance in vendor selection
- Guidance in the development of marketing materials and initiatives
- In-school program development to complement riverfront activation initiatives
- Comprehensive curriculum development and strategic planning
- Guide organizational development and explore partnership opportunities with national governing bodies and other entities