Home Tourist attractions MECCA FOR GUESTS: New businesses will be a boon for tourism and technology | New

MECCA FOR GUESTS: New businesses will be a boon for tourism and technology | New

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NOTNew local businesses and attractions are not only bringing more business to the area, but also a greater influx of tourists.

Cherokee Nation Businesses recently opened the Cultural Pathway in Tahlequah on September 1 and the Anna Mitchell Cultural and Welcome Center in Vinita on October 3.

Principal Chef Chuck Hoskin Jr. believes these new attractions will have a tremendous impact on tourism in the area.

“It can be both destinations, as well as stops people find along the way,” Hoskin said.

Hoskin said the Culture Trail is a nice feature to have in Tahlequah.

“Downtown is really beautiful, but there are areas that needed cleaning and sprucing up,” Hoskin said.

This idea, he said, was implemented on a larger scale in Vinita for the cultural center, located next to Route 66 and Highway 44.

“It has the potential to attract a lot of tourists and show them how they can explore the Cherokee Nation,” Hoskin said.

And that potential could soon be realized.

“What I’ve heard from staff at the Anna Mitchell Cultural Center is that there’s a lot of interest in Route 66 [enthusiasts] to see the rest of Vinita,” Hoskin said. “It’s great.”

Anecdotally, Hoskin said he heard people in Tahlequah being struck by the beauty of the cultural gateway.

The common thread between these two new adventures? Hoskin said the two were first lady January Hoskin’s brainchild.

“I just followed his lead and the great team at Cherokee Nation Businesses,” he said.

These many new projects play into an overriding goal of Cherokee tourism and culture, Hoskin described as “ambitious.” With Tahlequah as the epicenter of the Cherokee Nation, the idea is to think more broadly.

“Our goal is an opportunity for local residents or tourists to really get a sense of the Cherokee Nation wherever they are,” he said.

Hoskin said that will likely take a long time to accomplish.

It’s been a big year for tourism in and around Tahlequah, and it’s only getting bigger. One company in particular that is creating over 200 tech jobs is Provalus.

“Provalus is training its first class of new Tahlequah employees to provide IT support to a diverse customer base. They hope to have 230 full-time employees within the next three years,” Mayor Sue Catron said.

Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Nathan Reed said the company has hired nearly 50 people from Tahlequah and surrounding areas as of October 27. Reed met a man who plans to move to the area just for work.

Catron said people move to Tahlequah for a number of reasons.

“Some were looking for a quieter, more family-centric place than where they previously resided. Tahlequah and Cherokee County continue to attract retirees who want an active, outdoor lifestyle with easy access to urban amenities, such as concerts, shopping and airports in Tulsa or Fayetteville,” she said.

Additionally, Catron said more people who support nearby businesses are coming to Tahlequah.

“And of course, as high-speed internet access becomes more available, people who work from home or in online sales find it easier to live in a place they love,” Catron said.