Claremore Collective focuses on downtown development, brings in TEDx speaker

TEDx speaker Daniel Hintz will present his talk, the DNA of Place, at Thursday’s Claremore Collective ThinkTank as part of the Collective’s Downtown Development initiative.

The ThinkTank is free and open to the public, but attendees should register by Tuesday afternoon. It starts at noon March 2 at North Block Common, and lunch is provided. [RSVP here]

Hintz guides communities through an intentional journey of discovering their unique DNA of Place. He focuses on attracting people, retaining talent, revenue streams and celebrating the human spirit.

“We look forward to hosting former TEDx speaker Daniel Hintz, from the Velocity Group, to assist in our Downtown Development Initiative process,” said Meggie Froman-Knight, Claremore Collective Executive Director. “He is a high-caliber, dynamic and established professional in helping develop a sense of place.”

Claremore Collective, through a Make Your Mark Campaign last May, established three initiatives to focus on moving forward: Downtown Development, Claremore Lake Trails and West Bend District Master Plan.

“Downtown revitalization is as exciting as it is inevitable,” said Zach Oliver, the chairman of the Downtown Development initiative. “I jumped onto a moving ship whose pace and destination was set by the existing organizations in the district who have sacrificed so much over the years to build our district to what it is and will become.”

“I’m just honored and humbled that I get to be a small part in bolstering their efforts, and I’m extremely excited to show off this district to Daniel Hintz this week,” he added.

The Downtown Development initiative is kicking off Phase II, which focuses on developing a shared vision and objectives for downtown, with Thursday’s ThinkTank. The ThinkTank is sponsored by RCB Bank.

Hintz will stick around for meetings with city leadership and key players in the Collective’s initiative on Thursday and will host three focus groups on Friday.

Watch Hintz’ TEDx Fayetteville talk:

Claremore goes Irish this St. Paddy’s Day

Claremore is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with festivities all day long on March 17 with two events and a shopping dollars giveaway, all located in the historic downtown Claremore.

First, citizens can come out for the ninth annual Bangers and Mash Lunch, complete with live entertainment, giveaways and an Irish stroll along the sidewalks, at the Claremore Daily Progress parking lot, 315 W. Will Rogers Blvd.

Lunch is $6 and includes the Irish staple “Bangers and Mash” (sausage and mashed potatoes), a drink and dessert. The lunch is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At the Eason Collision Stage, two acts will entertain crowds as they eat their lunch or enjoy the afternoon run. Timothy O’Brian’s Celtic Cheer and Travis Peck will perform.

Tap “Read More” for info on two more events!
After a nap or finishing up another week at work, guests are invited back to downtown Claremore for the St. Paddy’s Day Party at the Main Street Tavern parking lot.

The party will provide another opportunity to eat bangers and mash or sample some corned beef and cabbage, partake of adult beverage options and see to more live entertainment – including an encore performance from the always popular Timothy O’Brian’s Celtic Cheer. Also performing on the Eason Collision Stage will be Frank Smreker and the Goode Academy of Irish Dancing.

Guests can order Miller Light, Guinness, red or white wine and Jameson outside at the party. A full bar and food menu will be available inside.

Claremore Main Street will be selling T-shirts and specialty St. Patrick’s Day cups with the new St. Paddy’s Day Party logo that change from white to green with cold drinks. Cups are $5 and are good for a dollar off each beer outside that night. T-shirts are $15.

The party is not limited to adults 21 and older, but IDs will be checked for those wishing to drink.

Finally, anyone can enter to win up $450 in Green Bucks – shopping dollars that can be spent like cash at 18 participating stores in downtown Claremore.

The Pot-O-Gold Giveaway is easy to enter. Visit any of the participating stores between March 1 and 16 and fill out a drawing ticket. No purchase necessary. Some stores offer additional tickets with purchased items, however.

At the Bangers and Mash Lunch, one ticket will be drawn for the $450 grand prize. The winner need not be present. Two smaller $50 giveaways will also be done during the lunch, but guests will need to be present to win one of those.

The participating stores are: Belvidere Gift Shop, Bike About Bicycles, Boarding House Books, Boomerang Diner, Centsible Spending, Cozy Cottage, Cranberry Merchant, District on Main, Grapevine, Haberdashery, LoliPop: A Sweet Boutique, Mad Dog’s Emporium, Outwest Home Décor, Rhapsody Boutique & Spa, Sailor Antiques, Thrift Harbor, Vintique Charm & Boutique and Willow Tree Mall.

Claremore Main Street is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works to enrich downtown Claremore by promoting a healthy downtown economy, advocating for revitalization and historic preservation and hosting quality of life activities. Proceeds from the events benefit the organizations efforts.

The Presenting Sponsor for the Bangers & Mash Lunch and St. Paddy’s Day Party is Pixley Lumber. The Party is cohosted by Main Street Tavern.

Tap here for a full list of sponsors and additional information about the events.

Downtown parking analysis shows pinches, not problems

While parking can become strained in certain areas of downtown at certain times, ample parking is available for those willing to walk a block, according to a recent Parking Supply and Demand Analysis of downtown Claremore.

The study, which was conducted on three days on the first week of October, concluded that there were times when public parking approached capacity in certain areas, yet additional parking was available within one or two blocks.

In fact, during the study, the average utilization of the public parking was 52 percent over the three-day span.

Claremore Main Street Executive Director Jessica Jackson and Parking Study Organizer Dr. Ray Brown presented the findings to the City Council during its regular Feb. 20 meeting.

Volunteers reviewed 253 public and 313 private parking spaces at five separate times during each day of the study, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and then again every two hours ending at 5:30 p.m. The study included two weekdays – a Tuesday and a Thursday – and a Saturday.

“To understand the parking situation downtown, you must look not only at the overall utilization rate but the utilization rates on specific streets during the most popular times on a weekday,” Brown said.

The highest utilization was observed on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. when the overall downtown occupancy approached 80 percent. During that time, parking along Muskogee Avenue and Missouri Street exceeded 90 percent capacity but Will Rogers Boulevard still had some parking available and Cherokee Avenue had nearly 30 percent of its spots available.

Additionally, data showed that about 15 percent of the vehicles parked downtown did so for six or more hours, likely representing downtown employees and residents.

Utilization of the private parking spaces was considerably lower with an average of 33.6 percent. While a few lots were heavily utilized, most were observed as underutilized throughout the study.

The analysis serves as a baseline of how much parking is available in the historic downtown district and how it is used. The data will be vital as parking needs increase through area growth.

“We felt like the parking analysis was important to accurately assess where the pinches are so we have a starting point to establish our future plans for the entire downtown that reflect actual needs,” Jackson said. “Finishing the analysis is just step one.”

In the short term, Claremore Main Street volunteers and partner organizations will look to examine streets to ensure all public parking is clearly striped and will encourage partnerships with private lots to increase public parking availability.

The organization is also looking at ways to enhance streetscapes and promote walkability of the district.

“For the future economic development of downtown, two things need to happen,” Brown said. “First, walking should be encouraged by developing a more attractive streetscape. Second, additional parking spaces must be made available to the public.”

“Ultimately the economic success of downtown will depend on the construction of a parking facility which will likely require a private/public partnership,” he added.

The parking study was conducted by Main Street’s Economic Vitality committee. The City of Claremore and the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority were partners in the project.

Claremore Main Street is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works to enrich downtown Claremore by promoting a healthy downtown economy, advocating for revitalization and historic preservation and hosting quality of life activities.

Download the full parking study here.