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Enid invests in its downtown

Enid, Okla., a town of 50,000 about 90 minutes northwest of Oklahoma City, is getting attention throughout Oklahoma for its downtown revitalization.

“The state of Oklahoma is buzzing about what is going on in Enid,” Eric Benson, city manager, told the local newspaper.

New convention facilities are a major part of the improvements. In November, the city reopened Convention Hall, a 1921 building that was no longer in use because it did not meet requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The hall has been turned into a convention center with an 11,000-square-foot ballroom, a 3,000-square-foot ballroom, 5,500 square feet of meeting space and a 14-person boardroom.

The building will be used in tandem with the Enid Event Center, which will open in mid-2013. Although that facility is geared toward sports events and concerts, with seating for up to 4,000, its 31,500-square-foot event floor will be used for trade shows and other convention-related needs. Global Spectrum manages the facilities.

Enid’s next step is to build a hotel downtown. In early December, the city signed an agreement with a developer to further explore the idea and to look at potential sites, including one near Convention Hall and the event center.