By Emily Loughridge
EL RENO – The Canadian County Expo & Event Center has generated a roughly $22 million economic impact since opening nearly two years ago.
Canadian County’s $20 million fairgrounds complex, 3001 Jensen Road East, has had consistent event bookings since its July 2021 debut.
Expo Center Interim Director Mandy Davis recently shared data indicating the facility’s $15.2 million economic impact for fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023).
Over the past 12 months, the center hosted 54 events and 65,500 visitors with a 90% rebooking rate.
The facility boasted an $6.8 million economic impact during its first 12 months of operation. In FY22, the center hosted 45 events and saw 48,000 visitors with a 95% rebooking rate.
“We are excited about the overall impact and growth we are experiencing,” Davis said.
The economic impact is calculated using metrics provided by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and approved by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, according to Davis.
The Expo Center’s visitors are tracked through ticket sales and post-event recaps with event promoters, she added.
The last two annual Canadian County free fairs hosted by the Expo Center have recorded record attendance numbers.
CANADIAN COUNTY CARES
While visitors invest their time and money into the Expo Center, the facility returns the favor.
Through the “Canadian County Cares” program, the Expo has invested $377,000 back into Canadian County non-profits:
- Junior Livestock Premium Auction: $325965 for Canadian County 4-H clubs and FFA chapters.
- Community Night Gala: $31,195 to the Together We Center.
Oklahoma Wine, Bew & Barbecue Festival: $12,135 to the Yukon Chamber of Commerce.
- Jake Jam Parking: $8,000 to Canadian County 4-H.
The Canadian County Expo & Event Center features a 19,000 square foot event center, a 46,000 square foot indoor arena, and a 19,000 square foot open-air pavilion, along with an estimated 15,000 square feet of office space.
In 2019, Canadian County purchased the 50-acre site east of El Reno for the new fairgrounds. The county paid $1.25 million to the Jensen family for the property.
If the need arises, the county has an option to purchase another 50 acres of adjacent land for future development.
Upcoming featured events are:
- Oklahoma Horse Show Association Horse Show July 8.
- Oklahoma Cornhole Tournament July 14-16.
- TCU (Texas Christian University) Alumni Summer Roping event July 15.
- Great Plains Rodeo July 21-23.
- The Annual Canadian County Free Fair returns to the Expo Center Aug. 23-26.
For more information or a complete schedule, call (405) 422-5400 or visit canadiancountyexpo.org