OKPOP worthy project, economic impact study contends
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Published: 20-May-2013

If a late-breaking legislative plan to start work on the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) it approved, the facility will not only preserve the stories of Oklahomans who have influenced popular culture, it will also provide financial benefits to Tulsa and the state, advocates say.

An updated study on the economic impact of the proposed OKPOP Museum by the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce shows that after the first year of construction the project will add a total value of nearly $13.5 million to the local and state economy, and the museum’s first year of operation will add a total value of $17.6 million.

“Once the OKPOP is operational, the museum will generate an estimated $820,000 a year just in sales tax revenue,” said Chris Benge, senior vice president of government affairs, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce. “With an annual attendance of 100,000, the museum’s economic impact will exceed $19 million.”

Additional benefits that would come with building the OKPOP Museum include creating nearly 400 permanent jobs, a 650-space parking garage in downtown Tulsa, taxes and fees paid to the city and state, a boost in tourism in Tulsa, as well as various induced jobs that result from a construction project this size.

The study shows economic impact during the first year of construction and the first year of operation. Major findings from the updated impact study include:

Construction of the OKPOP will:

· Generate 206 jobs  

· Pay $779,046 in taxes, fees, and dividends

· Provide a total added value of $13,491,059

During the first year the OKPOP will:

· Generate 398 jobs

· Pay $1,907,949 in taxes, fees, and dividends

· Provide a total added value of $17,627,690

· Add 650 parking spaces to downtown Tulsa

The fate of the OKPOP Museum rests with the Legislature,” said Dr. Bob L. Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. “The state’s financial investment to build and start up the museum will be matched with at least $16 million in private funds. After construction, the museum will be self-supporting through revenue.”

The OKPOP Museum will be a 75,000-square-foot, four-story building dedicated to the creative spirit of Oklahoma’s people and the influence of Oklahoma artists on popular culture around the world.

The underlying theme of the museum would be “Crossroads of Creativity,” whether it is in the field of music, film, television, theatre, pop art, comic books, literature or humor.

With approval of funding by the Oklahoma Legislature, the OKPOP Museum could open as early as 2017.

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