Business owners concerned about future of SpiritBank Event Center, no longer hosting big events

BIXBY, Okla. - Word is out the SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby will no longer host big events.  Local businesses in the area are now speaking out to 2NEWS.

The event center anchors the Regal Shopping Center and can bring big crowds to local businesses, like Savastano's Pizza.

Jennifer Savastano, vice president of the restaurant, said she is very frustrated by what she's been told about the future of the SpiritBank Event Center.

"The big events, especially when they happen during the week, they're wonderful, they're amazing, they bring in tons of people and it really helps us out," said Savastano.

She said the event center helped bring regular business on weekdays, which is key to keeping things moving smoothly.

"That was the main reason we moved over here, was because we were told there would be so many big events a year and we were like OK, we should just come over here instead of moving down to restaurant row on 71st Street.  Plus it kept us local, our family is from Bixby," said Savastano.

The event center has hosted concerts, expos and provided the home court for the Tulsa 66ers. Now, that could all be out the window.

Joyce Madewell, spokesperson for the SpiritBank Event Center, said there was no formal decision to stop booking events, it just happened.  

Madewell said SpiritBank is in the banking business, not the event business, adding the center has been for sale for the last few years and they are hopeful a new buyer will purchase the facilities.

SpiritBank plans to continue to use the ballrooms for smaller events like conferences and weddings.

The Bixby Chamber of Commerce is located inside the office space at the event center. The president of chamber, Krystal Crockett, confirms the event center will still host small chamber events and the Taste of Bixby scheduled for Thursday but she had no information about future events.

If you log on to SpiritBankEventCenter.com , the page is now dedicated to a catering service company called ARENASERVE.

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