KINGSTON, OK - More than 200 hundred concerned business leaders and residents packed the Kingston High School gym Tuesday night. Almost all of them are asking what the State is going to do to repair Lake Texoma campgrounds.
Those campgrounds are vital to Marshall County business and state officials talked about how they plan to bring those tourists back. Teddy Safo brings us this report.
Some vendors at Tuesday’s town meeting in Kingston say they're upset about the current condition of Texoma State Park.
Most campgrounds have not been repaired after the devastating summer floods and they say their businesses are paying for it. “When they closed the lodge it killed 90% of business which killed our business completely."
"The biggest question I got is when is this camp ground going to be campgrounds."
Last week, state tourism allocated $75,000 to repair 25 of the nearly 200 camp sites.
Ed Phillips is one of the Lake Texoma Association Board Members who says all of the camp grounds need to be repaired before May 1st when tourism season officially starts. Or else business will continue to suffer.
"They need to get after it to do that there going to need seventy five thousand plus more money." Business owners say $75,000 won't go very far toward repairing the hundreds of damaged campsites.
But the Executive Director for State Tourism and Recreation, Hardy Watkins, says due to budget a constraint, that’s all the state can allocate for the project. “Right now we’re certainly working with legislative officials to help make sure we can get as much as possible."
Rumors that state land was recently sold to developer Pointe Vista at a price below market value were dispelled at the end of the meeting.
Watkins assured the crowd that the state is committed to restoring the campgrounds and tourism by May 1st. "If weather cooperates this year, and I hope it does, without repeat of last year, I anticipate significant tourism this summer."