3:05: Gathering Place's successful first year - Jeff Stava
Welcome to Tulsa Talks presented by Tulsa Regional Chamber. I’m your host Tim Landes.
The voice that just kicked this is off is Jeff Stava. Jeff is the chief operating officer for Tulsa Community Foundation and the executive director of Tulsa’s Gathering Place, which just celebrated its first birthday after a phenomenal opening year. Park officials expected around 1 million visitors, but it was a little more popular than anticipated with nearly 3 million people visiting Gathering Place.
There have been glowing write-ups in the New York Times. In September, Urban Land Institute named it among its 11 Global Awards for Excellence. In August Time Magazine named it one of the 100 World’s Greatest Places to Experience. It was named USA Today’s Best New Attraction and the list goes on.
Jeff and I spent a lot of time talking about Gathering Place. We talked about the parks many successes in the first year and how it weathered the historic flooding six months after it opened. We talk about what’s to come for the park, because as amazing as it is, there is still another phase of construction that includes the Children's Museum.
Jeff talks about the ways they are dealing with heavy traffic and the new ways visitors can access the park without trying to find parking in the nearby neighborhoods.
He’s been a Tulsan most his life, so we talk about his previous work in the fishing and tackle industry and what the husband and father of two’s hobbies are outside of work.
I had a great time getting to know Jeff and having a chat. He’s a great ambassador for Gathering Place and Tulsa. His energy and excitement when talking about both is infectious.
Following that conversation, city editor Morgan Phillips heads to the Tulsa State Fair to figure out What the What (48:40) it takes for a mama pig give birth in a room full of spectators enjoying bacon treats and hot dogs. The star of the segment is Sadie, who was forced to carry around 15 babies for days at the fair. Somebody get her a Megaride pass and a funnel cake.
Closing out this episode of Tulsa Talks is CliffDiver, which is sharing their new single "Cameron Diaz" (52:50). It’s the first single from the six-piece pop punk band’s follow-up to their 2018 EP Small Hours, which is available on Spotify.