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Okla. Approves Resort Plans for Lake Murray State Park

Wed January 24, 2007 - West Edition
CEG



ARDMORE, Okla. (AP) The state Tourism Commission has approved a plan that could result in a $20 million hotel at Lake Murray State Park.

The panel has agreed to allow the Ardmore Tourism Authority to lease the area that includes an existing state park lodge.

The authority would sublease the area to a developer who plans a 100- to 150-room hotel and updates to the existing lodge and cabins.

“We hope to have a modern, first-class resort,” said Wes Stucky, president and chief executive officer of the authority. “It’s our mission to generate tourism and improve the Ardmore area. We don’t have a profit motive. Our profit comes from creating a beautiful resort to attract more tourism dollars to the area.”

The plan to develop the lodge area at Lake Murray, the state’s largest state park, comes just weeks after members of the state Land Office agreed to sell 758 acres to Pointe Vista Development LLC, a partnership between top executives with Chapparral Energy and Chesapeake Energy Corp.

The development group agreed to pay the state $14.6 million for the property that once was part of Lake Texoma State Park. The project at Lake Texoma also includes plans for up to 300 homes along the lake and golf course.

“I think the Texoma development just adds to all the amenities in south-central Oklahoma,” Stucky said. “It further identifies it as a good getaway spot.”

The development at Lake Murray is proposed by a private developer, Dallas-based SCS Capital Group. It is to have a 50-year lease on the land with two options to renew for 25-year periods, said David Daniel, an owner of the development group.

Once construction is complete, Prism hotel and resort management will run the facility.

“It’s going to pay for itself. It’s an economic opportunity,” Daniel said. “There’s a market for this in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas and Fort Worth.”

Project plans at Lake Murray call for nearly 4,000 sq. ft. (372 sq m) of meeting space, a business center, hotel rooms with large flat-screen televisions, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

The Ardmore group is expected to finalize an agreement with the state by February. Renovations to the lodge are scheduled to begin next winter, Daniel said. The project could take nearly two years.