ENID, Okla. — Stride Bank Center will benefit is several ways when the downtown hotel is open early next year.

Kevin Boryczki, general manager of Stride Bank Center, said the Best Western GLō hotel will boost the center's main revenue source — the hotel tax — and also will allow for more conventions and events at the center, in turn bringing more visitors to Enid.

The hotel was projected to open in October, but City Manager Jerald Gilbert said it probably will be opened in early 2020, but he did not know the exact date.

“We are currently … working with over 25 different conferences and conventions that between 2020 and 2024 or 2025 are looking to bring their conference here to Enid, Oklahoma, that they haven’t been able to do before because that hotel hasn’t been there,” Boryczki said.

Boryczki said Stride Bank Center also hopes to attract visitors to help local businesses. He told Enid Rotary Club members Monday the past fiscal year was a good one for the center. It held 389 events and decreased the center’s operating deficit.

“That is one of our biggest goals, to not only improve the quality of life for everyone here, but to bring in a lot of visitors from out of town,” Boryczki said. “We want them to stay in our hotels, we want them to eat at our restaurants, shop at our retail stores and really help the economy in Enid.”

Although public attention usually is on the event center’s concerts and athletic events, Boryczki said the majority of the center's business comes from conventions, with 300 of the 389 events held in the past year held in the Convention Hall portion of the center.

Now, the center is not only reaching out to possible conventions, there are people reaching out to them and saying it’s time for them to go to Northwest Oklahoma, Boryczki said.

“If you go to Oklahoma City or Tulsa, you’re just one of many, many conferences,” Boryczki said. “Here, you’re the only one that matters at that time. You are the big deal, you are getting 100% of our attention.”

Boryczki said community support is a big factor in the center’s success over the past year, due to partnerships, sponsorships and community members keeping the center in mind when they are holding an event.

“The opportunities are just going to keep continuing to grow with that hotel,” Boryczki said. “We’re really excited for what the future holds.”

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Miller is an intern for the Enid News & Eagle. She can be reached at jordanmiller@enidnews.com.

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