Bassmaster attendance total reaches 106,850
The 2013 Bassmaster Classic caught a whopper of a crowd this past week as numbers exceeded expectations and swelled to a near-record 106,850, according to information released Tuesday by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society.
On Saturday and Sunday, organizers had to close the doors of the BOK Center after maximum capacity was reached as pros brought in fish they caught at Grand Lake to be weighed in front of fans.
Mississippi angler Cliff Pace won the world championship trophy and a $500,000 prize.
While it's too early to know the detailed economic impact of the sporting extravaganza, referred to by some as the "Super Bowl" of fishing, early indications show the event provided a significant boost for area retailers, restaurants and hotels.
Tourism officials initially predicted the tournament would attract 100,000 visitors and provide a $26 million lift for the local economy. They said additional tax revenue for the city of Tulsa could reach between $1.5 million and $2 million.
The impact of the tournament from a sales tax perspective will become more apparent in the next two months after reports are released and the data can be compared with last year's numbers, said Bob Ball, economist with the Tulsa Regional Chamber.
- LAURIE WINSLOW, World Staff Writer
Home sales show strength in January
Metro Tulsa home sales started 2013 at a quicker pace than 2012, which was a strong year in post-recession terms.
The Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors reports that 719 single-family properties changed hands last month, up 5.6 percent from January 2012.
Susan Beach, president of GTAR, said she's strongly encouraged by the continued growth.
Year-over-year monthly growth was significantly higher during most of 2012, and the year as a whole was 16.2 percent better than 2011.
Last month's performance was the highest sales total for January since the 728 recorded in January 2008, according to GTAR data.
Beach said this year's performance likely will be affected by fewer foreclosures and tightening inventory.
- ROBERT EVATT, World Staff Writer
HollyFrontier reports $1.73 billion profit
HollyFrontier, which owns and operates the former Sunoco and Sinclair refineries in west Tulsa, netted $1.73 billion in full-year profit, compared with $1 billion in 2011.
Fourth-quarter net income rose 75 percent to $391.6 million, while overall production levels averaged 447,000 barrels per day. The Mid-Continent region, which includes Tulsa and the company's refinery in El Dorado, Kan., averaged nearly 265,000 bpd.
The strong discount in the price of West Texas intermediate and other domestic grades of crude oil - compared with the offshore London Brent variety - has benefited HollyFrontier and other U.S. inland refiners. The net operating margin in the Mid-Continent section averaged $17.53 per barrel in the fourth quarter and $18.59 in all of 2012, both big improvements over the same periods in 2011.
The Tulsa West refinery, formerly Sunoco, finished its full maintenance turnaround in the fourth quarter but took three weeks longer than planned due to equipment reliability issues, HollyFrontier Chief Operating Officer Dave Lamp said in a conference call with analysts and media.
The maintenance project was HollyFrontier's first full turnaround at the plant since the company acquired it from Sunoco in 2009. The turnaround planned for Tulsa East was moved from March to May, including work on the crude unit reformer and naphtha hydrotreater, Lamp said.
- ROD WALTON, World Staff Writer
Rib Crib finally building restaurant downtown
Sometimes good barbecue just requires patience, and so have plans for a downtown Rib Crib that had been on hold for almost two years.
But the Blue Dome District location for the Tulsa-based restaurant chain is cooking again as construction started last week.
Plans now call for a May opening, said Seth Nimmo, vice president of finance and development for Rib Crib.
"Quite frankly, we had four projects in front of us and it took us longer than we had anticipated," Nimmo said. "But we're very excited to be downtown and really looking forward to opening this location."
Rib Crib's first location still stands at 1601 S. Harvard Ave., and the company's corporate headquarters is about four miles south on the same street near Interstate 44.
But the company has long outgrown that first restaurant; it now has 47 locations in eight states, mostly in places neighboring Oklahoma but extending as far away as Florida.
- KYLE ARNOLD, World Staff Writer
ABB to add 265 jobs to Bartlesville facility
ABB is adding 265 jobs to its Bartlesville facility with the aid of local and state incentive dollars under a plan approved Thursday by city officials.
The Bartlesville Development Corp. has approved a proposal to expand by 100,000 square feet the ABB facility in the Bartlesville Industrial Park to meet growing demand for the company's natural gas measurement equipment.
Along with the $14 million facility upgrade, the Zurich, Switzerland-based company said it plans to add more than 250 engineering and manufacturing jobs with average salaries of $75,000 over the next decade. ABB currently employs about 195 people in Bartlesville.
ABB, with about 140,000 workers across the globe, maintains offices in 100 countries.
The new positions are expected to qualify for Oklahoma Quality Job incentive funding, in which the state pays rebates on a portion of taxable payroll if the company maintains the added jobs over several years.
- LAURA SUMMERS, World Correspondent