ARDMORE, Okla. -- It was an exciting day for tourism officials outside of Ardmore as they broke ground on a new first-class resort at Lake Murray on Wednesday. Last year, the Ardmore Development Authority signed a 50-year agreement with the state to lease Lake Murray. Teddy Safo has more.
Lt. Governor Jari Askins was among the dignitaries to turn out to break ground on the $45 million project
State tourism officials, the Ardmore Tourism Authority, and several hundred people looked on as the first phase of the new Lake Murray Lodge broke ground at the resort’s south peninsula Wednesday afternoon.
Developers from Knewt Resorts are building the resort, which features a 150-room luxury hotel, 12 new villas, and a safari village.
Oklahoma state tourism director Hardy Watkins says once the resort is completed, Ardmore and southern Oklahoma could become a prime tourist destination.
"This park has millions of visitors each year. It’s our most-visited state park, so we know entering into this agreement to get a caliber development makes it market competitive and will benefit travelers into the future," Watkins said.
The new hotel is expected to open in fall of 2009. After the opening, developers say they hope to remodel some of the existing cabins and build new ones as well.