The Pryor Times

April 19, 2014

Author offers tips to flip Pryor

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

PRYOR, OK — “Everywhere I went in Pryor, I ran into wonderful people,” said Ron Drake, author of “Flip This Town.”

Drake visited with business and building owners all along Pryor's Main Street to hear the achievements and their concerns.

Drake has made a name for himself restoring 17 historic buildings and revitalizing 75,000 square feet of downtown space in Siloam Springs. He brought that passion and expertise to the streets of Pryor, providing conceptual ideas and action items for the revitalization of the street.

In the battle of Pryor versus Pryor Creek, Drake votes for the Creek.

“I think that's a charming name, it sounds like a place you'd want to visit,” said Drake, who also met with building inspector/code enforcer, fire department and city officials during his visit.

He recapped his visit during the city council meeting Tuesday, saying the street needs to be active day and night and that downtown restaurants are key to that.

“When downtown is open later and people are there taking advantage of it, the street polices itself,” said Drake. “The street also needs to attract people of all ages, so capitalize on the proximity of the junior high school and the library to downtown.”

He said downtown should be the “third place” that everyone needs.

“You need that third place, between home and work. A place to just relax and enjoy. Your downtown should be that place,” said Drake, who emphasized the importance of a total experience in the downtown area.

One of Main Street's challenges, Drake said, is that it lies on a state highway.

“While there's nothing we can do about that, you can turn our efforts to Adair and Vann Streets to make them feel like they are incorporated in Main street,” Drake said, suggesting benches and landscaping.

Drake said the town has good businesses to grow from.

“I am super impressed with your building owners, they are ready to jump in,” said Drake. “Since they're ready it's time for city hall to get behind them. This snowball is about to take off.”

Drake said another thing Pryor's downtown needs is a confidence boost.

“I get the feeling you guys just need to believe you've got what it takes. I believe in you, I see it,” said Drake.