Representatives of two prospective industries visited Muskogee in the last month, according to reports delivered to Muskogee Development board members at their meeting Friday.

Neither of them has made any commitment, said Marie Seabolt, Muskogee Development marketing director. So far, they’ve not narrowed their lists to finalists for their relocation projects.

Getting a prospective industry as far as making a site visit is a real plus, said Scott Robinson, Muskogee port director and a Muskogee Development board member.

It’s also hard work getting ready for showing a company around town and answering their questions. One night before the recent visits Robinson left the Muskogee Development offices at 9:30 and Seabolt, Muskogee Development Director Leisha Haworth and secretary Joyce Wooten were hard at work.

“It’s the equivalent of writing a play and putting it on in a week’s time,” Robinson said.

Robinson said after the meeting that industrial prospects’ visits generally start with a request for information and a questionnaire that may be five or six questions or 500 or 600 questions.

“After you respond, hopefully, you get feedback,” he said. “If you are lucky enough to get a site visit, it may be a consultant or a group of consultants and maybe representatives of the company.”

The site visit may last one hour, five hours or two days, depending on the company, he said.

Those making the visit may want to talk to elected officials, chamber of commerce representatives — the companies set most of the agenda, Robinson said.

There may be follow-up questions and even more site visits before the company decides whether to locate here.

While location, location, location may mean a lot in attracting industry, the people making a community’s sales pitch also play a lead role, Robinson said. The head of a large steel company recently said at a national meeting the reason they located in Mobile, Ala., instead of New Orleans was because of the role the Alabama governor assumed in the recruitment process.

Robinson said his main concern after a site visit is that the team did the best job possible in making a favorable impression on the visitors.

“That’s a victory,” he said.

Reach Liz McMahan at 918-684-2926 orClick Here to Send Email

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