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City leaders await economic development harvest

By Rebecca Hattaway
Story originally published in the Claremore Daily Progress

Seeds are planted and Claremore is ready to reap a harvest of new business and industry.

Only time will tell what exactly that harvest will include, but city leaders are optimistic big things are in store.

With three new hotels under construction, by May of 2015, Claremore will have 240 new rooms.

“We are more than doubling the capacity we currently have,” said Jeri Koehler, executive director of the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA). “We have over half a million tourists a year just through Claremore. That’s outside dollars coming in. We’re trying to encourage them to stay here, spend the night, eat and shop.”

Koehler, who assumed her position with CIEDA in June, along with her staff, have been aggressively working with the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s economic development office as well as the state economic development office to market Claremore and bring business here.

CIEDA has inventoried property available in the city and identified prime targets for each site.

“We’re seeing activity increase,” said City Manager Jim Thomas. “There are a lot of things we’re working on that we’re not ready to announce, but we’re planting a lot of seeds. I’ve seen steady growth in the two years I’ve been here and we are on the right trajectory. I think there is some pent-up need and I always get nervous because the public’s expectation is so high. They’ve been starving for so long. They’ve been looking for someone to lead them into the promised land.”

Read the story in its entirety at ClaremoreProgress.com