Sunday: Tulsa transplants attracted by low cost of living
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Saturday, April 21, 2012
4/21/12 at 3:48 PM
Two years ago Brian Paschal and his family left their Pasadena, Calif., home and moved back to Tulsa, where they knew cost of living was low and quality of life was high.
They said goodbye to high housing costs and a state where gasoline prices at one time reached about $5 a gallon, parking could cost $10 a pop, and eating out could be pricey. They returned to their roots, where they knew a paycheck could stretch and other family members lived.
“You get a lot more for your money here,” said Paschal, who is executive director of Tulsa’s Young Professionals, or TYPros.
Count Paschal among any number of boomerang Tulsans or job transplants who discover that Tulsa is a diamond in the rough when it comes to cost of living and quality of life.
Tulsa is “extremely competitive” in attracting workers when city representatives can demonstrate the attractiveness of northeast Oklahoma’s cost of living to those outside the area, said Jim Fram, senior vice president of the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s economic development division.
“You can live more life on fewer dollars here than you can, say, on the West Coast or East Coast,” he said.
Cost of living is a huge selling point for the area, but it can be difficult to convince someone who’s never visited that Tulsa is the place to be. But in the past few years, new venues like the BOK Center, ONEOK Field and upgrades along the Arkansas River have helped boost Tulsa’s image as a cool place, Fram said.
“Going to California and explaining to somebody that they can have a better, more exciting, more fun lifestyle in Tulsa, Okla., on $100,000 a year than they can on $170,000 — it’s difficult to get that message out,” Fram added.
The best advertising is Tulsa itself. Because once people get here, they often don’t want to leave, Fram said.
Read the complete story in Sunday's World.
Brian Paschal and his wife, Alex, spend some quality time in the backyard with their three children, Jack, 5, Anne, 3 and Benjamin, 1. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World.