DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) -The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center and Museum earned an honor from the state, putting Duncan on the map as a must-see tourist destination.
The museum joined Comanche County Memorial Hospital in being recognized by the state's Travel Industry Association. They were recognized as a merit winner for "Outstanding Attraction" and "Outstanding New Event" for their poetry event Campfire, Cattle and Cowboys Gathering.
The museum's director said they beat out museums in the Oklahoma City metro for the Outstanding Attraction merit award; something she says is a pretty big deal considering Duncan is off the beaten path when it comes to traveling.
"I know, it's fantastic. You just never know. We did really well this year," said Stacy Cramer-Moore, the executive director.
You can hear the excitement in her voice days after receiving the news that Chisholm Trail Heritage Center received a RedBud merit award for Outstanding Attraction in Oklahoma.
"When you think of all the fantastic things there are to do in Oklahoma we finished second. So, we are so pleased," Cramer-Moore said.
She says the top honor went to the Wondertorium in Stillwater, but she's still proud to receive the recognition.
"Obviously if you have a lot more people to draw from, your numbers are going to be a little bit bigger than maybe we have here in Duncan, but our numbers are very respectable and it's nice to be the underdog and be a winner," she said.
She says it's been three years since the museum won that particular merit award, but being recognized for outstanding new event was just icing on the cake given its debut at the museum.
"It really increases our prestige, gets the name out into areas that may not know about the CTHC and helps us with our marketing as well. So, it's just a great marketing all around," Cramer-Moore said.
She says it takes a village to make the museum run day in and day out, and she says she's grateful for the small army she has.
"A lot of us do double duty, every small business knows that. We're doing this stuff and maybe later I'm cleaning toilets and that's just the way it works when you're a small staff. Everybody here does a great job pulling together and that's another reason we can accomplish these kind of awards," Cramer-Moore said.
Cramer-Moore says the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center and Museum sees around 25,000 visitors a year. She says a quarter of those guests are from out of the country.
The RedBud Awards are open to all Oklahoma tourism sites and must represent travel opportunities throughout Oklahoma.