The commercial area on South Knoblock Street just across from the Oklahoma State University campus has had a distinct identity for almost 100 years. Although the lineup of businesses has changed over the years, Campus Corner is still a vibrant district the merchants in the area work hard to preserve.
“It’s a neat little area,” Betty Townsend, owner of Elizabeth’s, a women’s clothing and gift shop at 236 S. Knoblock Street, said. “We value this as a really special corner. Every one of us is a specialty store.”
For the second year in a row, the Campus Corner merchants association is sponsoring its own holiday shopping rewards program called Campus Corner Christmas Cash.
Anyone who makes a purchase at a participating Campus Corner business between Nov. 27 and Dec. 23 will be entered in a drawing for more than $2,000 in gift cards from Campus Corner merchants.
The drawing will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 24 over Facebook Live.
Townsend said the merchants want to support efforts to encourage people to shop local everywhere in town, but this is a chance to celebrate their own unique identity.
Business is generally good on Knoblock Street but Townsend said it sometimes seems like downtown merchants get most of the attention.
“Campus Corner has, for years, been a historical shopping district,” she said. “We bought our own (decorative) street lights years ago and the City helped us by installing them. We contracted for consistent landscaping so people wouldn’t just be planting whatever. And now we’ve added banners and put up our own Christmas decorations.”
The businesses on Campus Corner depend on OSU for much of their traffic, whether it’s guests staying at the Atherton Hotel on campus or the fans that pack Stillwater on game day. They’re also looking forward to the opening of the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, which will bring even more people to the area.
Townsend says parking is the biggest problem the businesses on Campus Corner face because students often park there and walk to class. The City enforces timed parking along the street with citations but business owners will validate parking tickets for their customers.
To stay up to date on what is happening at Campus Corner follow “Campus Corner at Oklahoma State” on Facebook.