Hospitality District

Hospitality District Aerial (PNG)
  1. Damages from Tornado
  2. Development
  3. Investments

Damages from 1999 Tornado

On May 3, 1999, Midwest City and other parts of Oklahoma experienced the tremendous damage associated with an F-5 tornado. In a few short moments, three lives were lost along with 546 residential units and 25 commercial businesses completely destroyed or substantially damaged. Especially hard hit was Midwest City’s hospitality district located at I-40 and Sooner Road where three hotels and several restaurants were completely destroyed. Immediately north of the hospital district, a number of homes, an apartment complex, a church and many small businesses were in the path of the tornado. And beyond still was a large housing addition. All sustained extensive damage or were destroyed. The following morning, City leaders surveyed the damage to the area and met with local business owners to determine needs and long-term plans for rebuilding. 

In the hospitality district, an idea emerged. For some time, the City had considered building a small conference center to promote tourism in the community. Early planning for the conference center had placed it approximately a mile away in the downtown redevelopment area. However, with the tornado inflicting such heavy damage on the hospitality district and with rebuilding concerns expressed by some hotel owners, it became clear to the City leaders that there was an immediate need to build the conference center in the hospitality district to quell any rebuilding hesitations. With the assistance of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the City quickly assembled a team of consultants to help develop preliminary concepts for the conference center.