Business Intelligence Report
5:00 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Top Business Stories: Bone Museum Expansion, De-Annexing In Shawnee, And Von Maur Arrival

Anaconda skeleton at the Museum of Osteology.
Anaconda skeleton at the Museum of Osteology.
Credit Skulls Unlimited

An Unusual Oklahoma City Business Expands To Another State.

The Museum of Osteology signed a 15-year lease in a new entertainment district in Orlando, Florida.

The museum, which is on Sunnylane Road, grew out of a business called Skulls Unlimited. Jay Villemarette started the company in 1986. It sells more than 100 types of animal skulls and full skeletons through catalogs.

The new museum, called “Skeletons” will be near a Ferris wheel, a wax museum and an aquarium.

Josh Villemarette, the founder’s son, said if things go well, they could expand again in five years.

The Oklahoma City museum costs $7 for adults, but admission will run $19.99 in Florida.

Shawnee, Oklahoma designated on map outline of Oklahoma
Shawnee, Oklahoma designated on map outline of Oklahoma
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Shawnee Voters To Decide Process Of De-Annexing City Land.

One ballot question, Proposition 1, would allow the city commission to let city land go, rather than waiting for property owners to make a request.

The second, Proposition 2, deals with what happens next. It would allow the city to charge property owners for infrastructure improvements made in the past.

The timing is interesting, because earlier this year the Citizen Potawatomi Nation said it may want to de-annex its property within city limits. The nation and other tribes have been in conflict with Shawnee this year.

They disagree about tax payments to the city for sales to non-tribal members.

Absentee Shawnee Gov. Edwina Butler-Wolfe said she thinks the measures show the city doesn’t value the tribes as members of the community.

City of Shawnee Mayor Wes Mainord said the propositions are not aimed at the tribes, however.

Von Maur in Columbus, Ohio
Von Maur in Columbus, Ohio
Credit Nicholas Eckhart

New Department Store Chain Enters Oklahoma City Market.

Von Maur will open at Quail Springs Mall Oct. 18.

It will be the first Von Maur in Oklahoma. The chain is mostly in the upper Midwest, but has stores in Kansas and Missouri.

The new store will move in where Sears used to be.

Store manager Jessica Stetler said a few things set Von Maur apart. One is that it will hire five pianists to entertain shoppers. The store also offers free gift-wrapping year round, with extra staffers before the holidays.

Overall, the store will create about 150 jobs, with most of them being full-time.

Jessica Stetler, store manager at Von Maur department store, speaks at the monthly Commercial Real Estate Council luncheon Thursday in Oklahoma City.
Jessica Stetler, store manager at Von Maur department store, speaks at the monthly Commercial Real Estate Council luncheon Thursday in Oklahoma City.
Credit Brent Fuchs, The Journal Record

Except for store openings and holiday shopping, Von Maur usually doesn’t do advertising, Stetler said. It also strives for clear pricing. When an item hits the shelves, the price stays the same for 12 weeks. After that, it’s marked down until it goes out the door.

Stetler said the store will stock upscale brands such as Brooks Brothers, Ugg and Kate Spade.

________

The Business Intelligence Report is a collaborative news project between KGOU and the Journal Record.

As a community-supported news organization, KGOU relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.

The Journal Record is a multi-faceted media company specializing in business, legislative and legal news. Print and online content is available via subscription.