Wichita Falls catches lots of flack, much of it unwarranted.  'There's nothing to do here' is a theme we hear often, especially from our youth, but one publication has found Wichita Falls to be a worthy spot for groups looking for a home for their events.

Convention South Magazine has named Wichita Falls one of the twelve cities from across the nation dubbed the 'south's surprising recreational havens'.   “Meeting Planners and event organizers from across the country look for unique destinations in the South to hold their meetings and events, and ConventionSouth’s 2014 list of the ‘South’s Surprising Recreational Havens For Groups’ provides these planners with interesting insight on some of the South’s most unique cities for recreational fun,” said ConventionSouth Editor Marlane Bundock.

Burdock outlines three principle criteria the publication used in determining a communities worthiness for the list:

  1. The city has a wealth of recreational options for groups, including numerous public parks, the falls, a lake, a softball complex, golf courses and more – all giving groups of all types the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors year-round and participate in team building activities.
  2. The city has the ability to hosts various types of groups for meetings & events, including a meetings-minded Convention & Visitors Bureau, various meeting facilities and hotels.
  3. The city, in our opinion, is not “nationally recognized” as a recreational hot spot making it a surprising find for meeting and event planners that especially look for destinations in the South with recreational options.

Other cities that made the list include:

Albany, Georgia

Annapolis, Maryland

Auburn, Alabama

Chesapeake, Virginia

Columbia County, Georgia

Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

Kingsport, Tennessee

Palm Beach County, Florida

Pinehurst, North Carolina

Plano, Texas

Seminole County, Florida

I'm not totally sure what lake they were referring to, since most of our bodies of water have been reduced to very large puddles. But that situation, as it has before, will change in due time.

One aspect they did not bring up is the climate.  One of the reasons the military chose Wichita Falls as the site for Sheppard AFB and the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program is the weather. Wichita Falls averages 244 days of sun or partial sun annually, which of course means lots of good flying weather.  And let's be realistic, our winters are quite mild.  We're not Minot and that in itself is reason to celebrate!