Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Wright Says Tourism Key to Eastern Oklahoma Growth

Kenyatta Wright

Vian native Kenyatta Wright discussed the importance of tourism to eastern Oklahoma at the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting Wednesday.

Wright, a graduate of Vian High School and Oklahoma State University, played in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. He returned home to the Vian area after his football career and currently lives near Lake Tenkiller with his wife, Amber, and their four children.

Now in charge of the Tenkiller Association, Wright says he and Oklahoma Tourism Director Jerry Winchester agree that tourism works if state agencies work together. “We are all in this together,” he said, “and we need to cross-promote each other, highlight each other and try to connect everything.”

Wright talked about the importance of bringing in tourism dollars to the region, saying, “I want to get as many people as I can to come to Sequoyah, Cherokee, Adair and Muskogee counties.”

“Once we come together, we (eastern Oklahoma) are going to be a powerful place,” Wright said.

Also on hand at the meeting, Sallisaw City Manager Keith Skelton and Jerry Cook, vice president of GRDA’s Customer Service Division, thanked city electric customers who stepped up during February’s winter storm and complied with city requests to conserve power. The city only had one outage during the storm, Skelton said. The situation could have been a lot worse.

“We want to thank our 17 municipal public power communities,” Cook said. “Without them we could not have kept the power going as well as we did.”

Cook also praised customers for their efforts, saying, “You’re not just our customers, you’re our partners. We asked you to conserve and you did.”

Mayor Ernie Martens took the microphone to discuss the recent Junior Livestock Show, which brought in $82,649 this year. “Marty Green, me, FFA and 4-H leaders and others started brainstorming on ways we could get this show up and running this year. Area county shows have followed Sallisaw’s model,” Mayor Marten said.

The money donated at the sale goes back to the students. “It’s not an expense, it’s an investment in our kids,” he said.

Cliff’s Pharmacy was named the Chamber’s March Member of the Month. Accepting the award from Chamber President Rhonda Nicholson (above left) was Mike Meece. Mike is the son of the late Clif Meece, founder of Clif's Pharmacy.

Cazadores provided the meal for the meeting.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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