Voters choose Gathering Place as USA Today’s best new attraction

Ponca City Now - January 18, 2019 11:30 am


Tulsa’s Gathering Place is adding “Best New Attraction” to its list of accolades after winning the USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice 2018 Best New Attraction award.

This morning, Executive Park Director Tony Moore was joined by Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum in the Williams Lodge to announce the Park receiving the national honor at the same time USA Today announced it to their 2.6 million readers.

“The Gathering Place being named the country’s Best New Attraction is a monumental moment for the Park, our employees and all guests that have joined us since the grand opening in September,” Moore said. “It has been exciting to see the community and country come together to vote for our inclusive space as a top destination in the nation.”

The Gathering Place faced off against 19 other national contenders from metropolitan cities across the country, including a comedy club, historical museums, heritage centers, theme parks and other unique attractions to ultimately claim the title of Best New Attraction.

“The opening of Gathering Place last year was a great point of pride for our city and the announcement today confirms Tulsa is home to the Best New Attraction in the country,” Bynum said. “Gathering Place is truly the best city park in the world and will continue to be a place that brings people together and honors the civic pride we all have for Tulsa.”

Gathering Place aims to provide an inclusive space for Tulsa residents and visitors alike to experience nature in a whole new way and offers more than 100 different daily experiences, insuring no two visits are the same.

A project of George Kaiser Family Foundation, Gathering Place, with a first phase of 66.5 acres, will ultimately transform nearly 100 acres of Tulsa’s waterfront along the Arkansas River into a dynamic and active space when the project is completed. A public-private partnership, the Foundation and numerous corporate and community philanthropists gave ownership of the $465 million park to River Parks Authority, who in turn signed a long-term operational and management lease back to an entity of the foundation to ensure the highest quality operation, maintenance and programming for the life of the park.

Oklahoma Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell, who was also appointed Secretary of Tourism and Branding this week by Gov. Kevin Stitt, congratulated the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the City of Tulsa on the announcement.

“Gathering Place is a great example of how public-private partnerships work,” Pinnell said. “Gathering Place has transformed Tulsa and has become an attraction that benefits not only Oklahomans, but is bringing in untold others from the surrounding region and all across the country. In addition to being a great asset for the people of Tulsa and all Oklahomans, Gathering Place has become an anchor attraction bringing tourists into our state. This is a prime example of tourism serving as vital economic development in Oklahoma.”

Gathering Place was chosen to be one of 20 nominees for the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards by a panel of relevant experts, which includes editors from USA Today 10 and sources for both of these media and other Gannett properties, according to 10 Voting was open to the public for four weeks, allowing users to vote for one nominee per category daily.

To learn more about this award, visit:


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