MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

September 12, 2012

Indoor play center sound idea

— A proposal to turn a hangar at  Love-Hatbox Sports Complex into an indoor play center sounds like a strong opportunity allow a private company to use public property in a way that benefits both sides.

The proposal, which won approval by the Muskogee City Council, could create a revenue stream for the city while virtually eliminating any liability.

Show It Off, a local company that rents inflatable structures such as bounce houses and slides, would pay the city 20 percent the revenue generated by public and private events.

Show It Off — if the city and the company can reach agreement — would be responsible for carrying liability insurance and maintaining the building.

“We believe this proposal is a perfect opportunity to partner with the parks department to help grow the Love-Hatbox Sports Complex and possibly bring in tourism in a building that is right now underutilized,” Jason Jones stated in his written proposal. “This play center will provide a place for parents to host birthday parties ... in a safe, fun environment.”

Jones, a managing member of Show It Off, said the company could add a miniature golf course or go-cart track if the venture proves a success.

Finding creative ways to utilize public space saves taxpayers money by creating potential revenue without associated costs.

It could improve the quality of life here and bring money into the city, without adding expense or creating potential liability issues.

This idea could benefit the company and the city.

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