Serving as the third-largest industry in Oklahoma, tourism continues to be a leading source of economic revenue. According to recent data released by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation, this growing sector supports over 96,000 industry jobs and $748 million in state and local taxes.
Recognizing the importance of robust tourism offerings, the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA) partnered with the City of Claremore in 2016 to create a tax increment financing district (TIF) for the Claremore Holiday Inn Express and the Claremore Convention Center.
In a move marked as an economic success, the Claremore City Council recently authorized the conclusion of the financing plan with the Promise Hotels Group. The TIF district is responsible for $8,281,467 in hotel gross receipts. Located directly off historic Route 66, the popular hotel has hosted roughly 243,573 guests and has generated more than $40,189,500 in visitor spending.
“Conferences, conventions and other tourism events are crucial drivers of sales tax dollars for our city,” says Tanya Andrews, Executive Director of Visit Claremore. “As guests enjoy local hotels, they eat at area restaurants and shop at our retail destinations. The tax dollars generated from those purchases support crucial city operations and infrastructure improvements.”
The district has also initiated $4,871,460 in indirect spending through labor force, rent, food purchases and other operational expenses.
In Oklahoma, the 1992 Local Development Act established local government’s ability to utilize tax increment financing (TIF) districts. This public tool allows an area to be geographically targeted as a mechanism to secure private development investment through quality job creation and capital investment. Through business development, the TIF region benefits from newly generated taxes without impact to the existing base tax value. This increase in ad valorem dollars in turn supports tax entities such as public schools, health departments and careertech centers.
“The Promise Hotel TIF district is a prime example of how utilizing economic tools with due diligence and local collaboration can strategically drive growth impacting nearly every sector of our local economy that would not have otherwise occurred,” said Meggie Froman-Knight. “The success of this district has generated millions of dollars in tourism and sales tax revenue, supported new jobs, and additional capital investment. These benefits will continue long after the closure of the TIF.”
Over the past two and half years, Claremore has successfully finalized two TIF districts prior to their anticipated schedule. In 2020, the City concluded an industrial TIF district nine years ahead of schedule with local manufacturer AXH air-coolers. Through the private investment that led to the TIF’s early conclusion, public tax entities such as Claremore Public Schools, Northeast Tech, the Rogers County Health Department and others witnessed the early distribution of upwards of $270,000. The district allowed for the development and generation of ad valorem tax that would not have otherwise occurred.
“Each year, tax increment financing as an economic development tool receives significant attention during the state legislative session,” said Meggie Froman-Knight. “Suburban communities, such as Claremore, can serve as an example of the value and opportunity TIFs present when competing for domestic and international investment. I am proud of the constructive and collaborative conversations our community partners have led, as well as the due diligence upheld in executing successful examples of public-private partnerships.”