Sapulpa’s Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum is honored as one of Oklahoma’s Top Tourism Entities during the RedBud Awards.
The Oklahoma Travel Industry Association (OTIA) held its annual RedBud Awards Gala at the Oklahoma History Center on May 16. Open to all Oklahoma tourism entities, the RedBud Awards represent the highest honor given in the Oklahoma tourism industry. The Gala was held as part of the 2017 Oklahoma Conference on Tourism.
On Tuesday evening, Richard and Lina Holmes, with the Auto Museum, Suzanne Shirey and Sheri Ishmael-Waldrop, with the Sapulpa Area Chamber of Commerce and Tour Sapulpa, were in attendance as the Award of Merit for Outstanding New Attraction was presented by Lt. Governor Todd Lamb and Jennifer Reynolds.
Richard Holmes, museum president, said “This is a dream come true. We have been the beneficiaries of a lot of local community support from the city of Sapulpa, Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce, Tour Sapulpa and from a lot of Tulsa folks as well. We’ve still got a ways to go, but we are definitely headed in the right direction.”
Suzanne Shirey, president of Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce, said she is pleased to have the National Guard Armory building revitalized and in use again. The Auto Museum has become a wonderful attraction for our community and tourism. She is happy to be part of the repurposing of the building and promotion of the museum from the inception. The new museum has become one of Sapulpa’s top attractions.
Emceed by Lt. Governor Todd Lamb and OETA’s Jennifer Reynolds, 31 awards were given in 18 categories. The awards recognize Oklahoma’s top tourism attractions, events, programs and organizations for outstanding efforts to serve and promote Oklahoma’s tourism industry.
“The Redbud award is confirmation of our effort and we are honored by it. I hope it brings more people from all over the U.S. and the world to see what we have done so far,” Holmes added.
This is the second year in a row the Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce and Tour Sapulpa have returned from Oklahoma City with honors for our community in Tourism. President Suzanne Shirey takes great pride in promoting our community and working to highlight the many unique tourist locations and events in Sapulpa.
Competition entries must have been produced, published, broadcast or held between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016. All entries were evaluated by a slate of tourism professionals on specific criteria including customer service and experience, marketing effectiveness, media relations, variety of audiences reached, value, and overall creativity.
In addition to the RedBud Awards the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Sandy Price of the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau. The award is presented annually by AAA Oklahoma and is designed to recognize a tourism professional who has spent decades working in and improving Oklahoma’s travel industry.