OKC National Memorial Foundation Projects Memorial's Economic Impact at $173 Million

Article excerpt

When the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation on Monday announced a campaign to raise $18 million, much was said about why the memorial is important today - almost 10 years after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killing 168 people.

The Second Generation Campaign will make a major difference in securing the future of the memorial to ensure that future generations will be able to come to honor, learn, and reflect and experience hope, said press materials distributed at the announcement.

Frank Hill, chairman of the foundation, and other speakers talked of expanded programs to establish the memorial as a resource for education on terrorism and teaching children and other generations how to work for a peaceful future.

But Hill and some of the other 18 speakers at the announcement of the fund-raising campaign also mentioned another reason the memorial is important to the city and the state, a reason many officials have been reluctant to discuss in the past.

That is the economic impact of the three components of the memorial.

Hill said the Oklahoma City National Memorial has had an economic impact during the last 4.5 years of $173 million.

That estimate came from An Estimate of the Economic Impact of the Oklahoma City National Memorial on the State of Oklahoma, a report prepared by Alexander Holmes with the University of Oklahoma. It was distributed at the press conference announcing the new fund-raising campaign.

Since February 2001, Holmes said the memorial had a direct impact of supporting 7,873 jobs in the Oklahoma City area and $114.7 million in employee compensation. The indirect effect was 1,037 jobs and $25 million in salaries.

Its impact on employee expenditures on the local economy was an estimated 1,594 jobs supported and $34.2 million in income.

That results in a total effect of the memorial during the last 4.5 years of 10,504 jobs and $173.9 million in income.

In the future, the report said, the memorial will have an estimated annual total effect of 3,003 jobs supported and $49.7 million in compensation.

Clearly, the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is an important part of the total Oklahoma City metropolitan area tourism package, Holmes said in the report.

He also said that while it is clear that the memorial is an important part of area tourism, one must be careful not to attribute all of the economic impact as the exclusive result of the memorial.

Many people who visit the memorial and stay overnight are in the area for other events and activities.

However, he said, It is clear from this analysis that the economic benefits of the memorial have been significant and will continue to be in the future.

The impact report estimates more than 2 million people have visited the memorial since it opened.

Randall Travel Marketing, according to the report, found that 43. …