Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department

News Release

October 18, 2010



Contact:  Austin Tackett

Phone:   405-230-8413

Email:   Austin@TravelOK.com


2010 RedBud Awards Honor Oklahoma’s Top Tourism Entities


            (Norman, Okla.) – Oklahoma tourism professionals gathered to honor fellow tourism industry leaders with RedBud Awards in 16 categories at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.  Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department Executive Director Hardy Watkins were on hand to announce the winners during a special gala held on Oct. 18, 2010 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Norman. 

'RedBud Awards represent the highest honor given in the Oklahoma tourism industry,' said Watkins. 'This year, we received more than 110 entries on behalf of tourism efforts from all across our state.'

            Entries are evaluated by out-of-state judges based on criteria including customer service, marketing effectiveness, media relations, variety of audiences reached, value, and overall creativity. The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department partners with the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association to present the annual RedBud Awards.

            Several special Oklahoma Ambassador Awards were also given out during the ceremony and recognized individuals who have made a positive impact on Oklahoma’s image or tourism industry in the last year. Jet and Cord McCoy, second place finishers in the 16th season of the reality television show The Amazing Race, and Chef Dale Tanner of Sysco Foods, who has been an instrumental advisor for the kitchen renovations at Roman Nose State Park lodge, received the honors. Diane Roach, Tourism Sales Manager for the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau also took home the “King of the Road” award which is presented annually by Red Carpet Charters and is designed to recognize a tourism professional who has spent decades working in and improving Oklahoma’s travel industry.

“It was an exciting evening recognizing the efforts of our industry and a great celebration of tourism,” said Watkins. “There is no better way to showcase the diversity of travel opportunities in Oklahoma than by honoring the best each year and bestowing them with these awards.”

            While convened at the Governor's Conference on Tourism, attendees spent two days learning about the latest travel trends, technology and more. A full list of 2010 RedBud Award winners by category is included below. For more information about Oklahoma’s travel and tourism industry, visit www.TravelOK.com or www.OTIA.info.


2010 RedBud Award Winners Include:

Outstanding Agritourism Attraction

RedBud: Silvertop Farm & Vineyards

Merit: Lavender Valley Acres


Best Social Media Campaign

RedBud: Bartlesville Convention and Visitors Bureau

Merit: Muskogee Chamber of Commerce and Tourism


Outstanding Eco Tourism

RedBud: NCED Conference Center and Hotel

Merit: Chickasaw National Recreation Area


Tourism Organization of the Year

RedBud: Frontier Country Marketing Association

Merit: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism


Best Brochure/Publication: Single Sheet

RedBud: The Chickasaw Nation

Merit: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism


Best Brochure/Publication: Booklet 11 Pages or More

RedBud: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism

Merit: Frontier Country Marketing Association


Best Overall Marketing Campaign

RedBud: Stillwater Convention and Visitors Bureau

Merit: Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum


Best Website

RedBud: The Ranchers Club

Merit (tie): Trail Dance Film Festival and Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum


Best Partnership

RedBud: Cruisin’ Northeast Oklahoma

Merit: The Chickasaw Nation


Outstanding Attraction

RedBud: Will Rogers Memorial Museum

Merit: Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve


Outstanding New Attraction

RedBud: American Banjo Museum

Merit: Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism


Outstanding Temporary Exhibit

RedBud: Price Tower Arts Center

Merit: Journey Stories-Durant


Outstanding Event

RedBud (tie): Oklahoma Renaissance Festival and Jenks Herb and Plant Festival

Merit: Murray County Antique Tractor & Implementation Association


Outstanding New Event

RedBud: Muskogee Chamber of Commerce and Tourism

Merit:  Miami Now… Native Oklahoma Weekend


Outstanding Media Coverage

RedBud: KERA & Rick Thompson

Merit: Washita Battlefield NHS


Outstanding Lodging Property

RedBud: The Canebrake

Merit: Embassy Suites Norman – Hotel & Conference Center