Yeah, that sounds a bit cynical. But seriously folks, be prepared for some “critical mass” around the Cox Convention Center. I’m told 17,000 people have registered to attend the all-day “Get Motivated” seminar and that people will start arriving at the same time as the downtown workers.
Yes, I know the Cox arena only holds around 13,700 or so. The overflow will be in the exhibit halls.
Consider this: the closest garages are usually already full during the day with Devon employees. This means Bricktown will see a lot of these folks parking and likely eating there as well. Not sure Bricktown will have that much capacity either.
The promoter is doing a park-and-ride at State Fair Park. My advice: get to work early and plan an early or late lunch if you want to dine in Bricktown, or get ready to visit those “secret” eateries we downtowners cherish (that Chinese place in The Underground, the Peacock, Italian Express, the Courthouse snackbar, etc).
UPDATE: OK, I didn’t mean to get everyone down on this event. I’m sure it will be great. But don’t be thinking you can leave at your normal time for work, go through your normal routine and everything will be fine. Don’t be thinking you can leave the house at 7:30 a.m. and get the Cox Center, walk in and everything will be fine.
It’s not going to work that way. This will be like having a Thunder game in the middle of the work day.
But there are ways, if you prepare, to enjoy Tuesday and get through just fine.
- Leave home early. I can’t say that enough. If you’re going to the “Get Motivated” seminar, use the Fair Park park-and-ride. I’ve been a fan of such operations ever since I used one in Dallas when I saw Genesis perform at Cowboys Stadium in the early 1990s.
- Get to the park-and-ride between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. (the earlier the better) and you’ll not only get to the Cox Center on time, you’ll also likely have time to grab a coffee and a quick bite to eat at Sonic, McDonalds or Starbucks in Bricktown. Take a shuttle at 6 a.m. and you’ll have time for a nice sit-down breakfast at Ihop in Bricktown, or at the Skirvin, Renassaince Hotel or Sheraton, or at The Buzz at First National (all of these places are within walking distance of the Cox Center, with The Buzz, McDonalds and Ihop being the longest distance).
- Don’t be surprised if you see lines at the restaurants closest to the Cox Center. Walk a bit further to catch lunch in Lower Bricktown at Earl’s, Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar and Grill, Nonna’s, Coach’s, Crabtown, The Mantle, and Falcones. If you’ve got a big group, you can probably get a bunch of tables together at Red Pin Bowling Alley (I’m betting they’ll be the place that will be overlooked by this crowd and they’ve got good food).
- For the downtown crowd: I repeat, this is the time to hit those “secret” stops we only know about. They’re in The Underground, they’re scattered across the central business district, MidTown and the Arts District. Specific recommendations: Trattoria il Centro, the Peacock Restaurant, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art Cafe, Beatnix, Java Daves, The Iguana Grill ….
- If you’re attending the seminar and insist on parking downtown, the best secret parking can be found in the North Bricktown Parking lots along Main Street. The entrance is immediately east of the Railway Viaduct with the Centennial Mural all over it. Take E.K. Gaylord to Main Street, go under the bridge and you’ll see the entrance by the buffalo sculptures.
Good luck everybody.