The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2013

February 16, 2013

Looking forward to 2013 & beyond

Only thing that could jeopardize Enid’s rise is Enid, Benson says

(Continued)

ENID, Okla. — Seeing the potential

Benson said the continued growth in retail sales has enabled the city to invest $42 million in streets in the last five years.

For those who see the potential in Enid, there’s immense opportunity for investment, Benson said.

“Those opportunities are right here under our nose, and the only ones who are taking advantage of it are the people from outside of Enid,” Benson said. “The people that see it coming are going to make piles of cash.”

He said Enid still is held back by locals’ perceptions of their own city, and of its future potential for growth.

“We have long failed to live up to our potential,” he said.

He said Enid routinely outperforms cities like Stillwater in retail sales but still suffers a perception of having less to offer than other towns.

Many people remain resistant to changes or investments that could draw more investment to the city, Benson said.

“Every step of the way we run into the same ‘You’re not from here, you don’t know how we do things’ mentality,” Benson said. “We need to start focusing on and embracing our bright future.

“We have the challenge of overcoming a perception here in Enid, and that’s the perception of mistrust,” Benson said.

He said the community tends to “galvanize around the negative comments,” and become mired in pessimism.

“People don’t understand just how much potential this town has,” Benson said. “This is an extremely capable community, not only financially but intellectually.”

Sitting pretty

City of Enid director of marketing and public relations Steve Kime said public perceptions of Enid could change drastically if people would look at what Enid has, compared to other cities of its size in Oklahoma.

“If the people of Enid would just get on a bus with me and go visit some other communities in Oklahoma, they’d realize how blessed they are, and how far this community has come,” Kime said. “Numerous communities our size would love to get rid of the plywood on the windows downtown, and have what we have here in Enid.”

Kime said Enid is outperforming other cities its size because of hard work and investment.

“If it was easy everyone would be doing it,” Kime said. “Most communities in Oklahoma don’t have the patience, they don’t have the drive and the vision we have here. Enid is sitting very pretty.”

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Progress 2013
  • Progress cover page.jpg 2013 OUR HERITAGE, OUR FUTURE

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual Progress edition. This year's 2013 Our Heritage, Our Future focuses the Enid area's rich heritage and its current and future endeavors.

    Read individual stories on the enidnews.com site HERE

    Links to Full Edition pdf format: Economic Development | Health & Wellness | Education | Northwest Oklahoma | Faith | Family | Agriculture & Energy | Community Service

    Our Progress edition also is available as part of our digital newspaper. Learn more about the ENE e-edition HERE.

    February 16, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Bob Farrell_1_BV.jpg A time to give

    Bob Farrell volunteers for a number of organizations throughout Enid, a labor of love that began during his 25-year active duty Air Force career, at which time he rose to the rank of chief master sergeant.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • experiment.jpg Growth spurt

    The market normally opens the second Saturday of May, the week after Tri-State Music Festival. June 22 is the annual GreEnid promotion. Hours are 8-11 a.m. each Saturday during the season.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link

  • Nonprofits Seminar_2_BV.jpg A way to fund progress

    Cherokee Strip Community Foundation was started in 1999 and began receiving funds in 2000. The initial funds were raised because of a challenge match from Sisters of Mercy, former owners of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, which started the match program as a way to help the community.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Foster_Grandparent_BH.jpg 'I love you Grandma warms my heart'

    “I can tell Grandma one time, and she knows what the children need, grabs her stuff and goes and does it. It’s like having another teacher.” — Hoover Elementary teacher Nicole Moneypenny

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • AmTryke_3_BV.jpg AMBUCS pride

    “Enid is known as the AMBUCS capital of the world because there’s more AMBUCS in Enid per capita than any other city in the country." — Kent Clingenpeel, National AMBUCS president and Enid AM AMBUCS member

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Volunteers_Alisha Jones_4.jpg 'A beautiful thing'

    “When we talk about developing professional airmen, our community involvement is a big part of it.” — Col. Darren James, commander of 71st Flying Training Wing

    April 13, 2013 4 Photos 1 Link

  • Stepping_Stones_1_BH.jpg Helping people overcome

    Stepping Stones and Van’s House are housed at the same facility and are there to provide help for those who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Park Avenue Thrift_1_BV.jpg People making a difference

    From vocational rehabilitation and homeless shelter services to community arts programs, a significant portion of Enid’s non-profit causes benefit directly when people shop at or donate to local thrift stores.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • JWL_1_BV.jpg Care to share

    Junior Welfare League bought adjoining buildings downtown and has been operating Return Engagement from one of the buildings but hopes to expand the store throughout both buildings.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link