Despite the downturn in the oilfields, Ardmore continues to fill its hotels.

During the Ardmore Tourism Authority board meeting Thursday at the Ardmore Convention Center, President and CEO Mita Bates reported revenue from the hotel tax was 13 percent over budget the past month and 19 percent over budget for the year.

“We are $59,000 to $60,000 above where we were last year,” she said. “The expected slowdown has not happened yet.”

The projections for April are also encouraging with the Oklahoma-Texas Shootout softball tournament slated for April. Hotel rooms are reported to be full for three weekends of the event.

The ATA approved its audit for the 2014 Fiscal Year. Bates said she was excited to have the audit out of the way.

“It’s the earliest we have ever been done,” she said.

ATA Chairman Bob Humphries appointed a committee to focus on destination branding and attracting visitors to the city. Those named to the committee were Kevin Butler, Ken Campbell, Judy Elmore, Vicki Gelona and Linda Humphrey.

Bates presented the Adventure Road promotion to the board. The promotion is underwritten by the Chickasaw Nation and spans from 2nd Street in Edmond to the Red River. During the update, Bates said two consultants from the Oklahoma Arts Council will come to Ardmore to provide their expertise in promoting and developing an arts district which is being presented in an Arts and Culture study.

The Ardmore Convention Center has signed a contract and will be receiving new equipment. Angel Mitchell, Ardmore Convention Center operations manager, said new flame retardant drapes have been purchased for $7,000. Renovations continue with 95 percent of the current project completed.

“Kudos to Angel, she has done an excellent job of putting this together,” Bates said.

A storage building was also discussed at the end of the meeting with no action listed or taken.

Humphries said Business After Hours is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., April 14 at Holland Health Chiropractic Center. Business Before Hours will be at 7:30 a.m., April 28 at the Chickasaw Nation Community Center.

@mpinedaARD