The Oklahoma Main Street Program honored Main Street communities, organizations and individuals for their outstanding achievements.
Approximately 250 entries were nominated in 22 competitive award categories. Approximately 675 people joined together with state legislators at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum to recognize this year’s nominees. Durant had the largest crowd with 68 registered.
Durant won in the following categories:
• Best New Business Downtown – Roma Italian Restaurant
• Best Public Improvement Project – Market Square Streetscape
Kathy Hendrick was recognized as Durant’s Board Member of the Year. She has served several years as the Economic Restructuring Committee chair and is also president of the Board of Directors. She is the director of the Center for Regional Competitiveness at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
Durant received their first statewide award in 2002 for Best Community Education/ Public Awareness. The award was for the Web site www.durantmainstreet.org. In 2003, awards were received for Outstanding Program Administration, Best Results in Strengthening Businesses, and Top Economic Restructuring Project (The Group Health Insurance Program). The two local awards receiving finalist status in 2004 were both chosen as winners. The Three Valley Museum received recognition for Best Façade Renovation Over $10,000, and the Pool Hall/Domino Parlor was awarded Best Façade Renovation Under $10,000. In 2006, Mega Bull was named the Best Creative Fundraising Effort and Three Valley Museum received honors for Best Interior Renovation. Newman Furniture won the Window Display award in 2007.
“I want to congratulate Roma and those involved with developing Market Square. We had several more finalist nominations that could have easily won as well. We are grateful for everyone’s contribution to make Downtown Durant the best it can be,” Durant Main Street Program Manager Donna Dow said.
Durant’s nominations receiving finalist status outnumbered all other communities and included:
— Downtown Maintenance Guidelines (Community Education/Public Awareness)
• Durant Roundup Club Arena Restoration (Best Volunteer Development)
• City of Durant (Premier Partner)
• Durant High School Service Learning Project (Youth Involvement)
• Market Square (Public Improvement Project)
• Main Street Coffee Bar (Façade Rehab Over $10,000)
• A Systems – Market Square entrance (Façade Rehab Under $10,000)
• Marie’s & Bridal Boutique (Best Window Display)
• Blue River Books (Signage)
• Roma Italian Restaurant (Best New Business)
Dow was extremely pleased with the awards.
“Roma has made such a difference in our downtown,” Dow said. “We are pleased for Gzim and his crew. His commitment to our downtown resulted in doubling the size of his restaurant this past year. His customers have demonstrated this was a good choice. His food, prices and service are outstanding, and we’re glad he chose to locate his restaurant in downtown Durant.
One long-time downtown business owner recently said the two things making the most difference for the downtown are Roma Italian Restaurant and the Streetscape.
The Oklahoma Main Street Program is a statewide downtown revitalization program providing training, resources and technical assistance to 44 active Main Street communities across Oklahoma. Main Street's preservation-based approach to business district revitalization has been scaled to the resources of small cities and urban neighborhood business districts.
Starting with many small changes taking place over a period of years, Main Street builds local leadership and local commitment to care for and manage the area for many years. The groundwork laid by the local leadership demonstrates that the district is active and vital, attracting more and more investment into the area.