BRYAN COUNTY, Okla. --With the first summer holiday coming up on Monday, representatives from the Durant Chamber of Commerce and Lake Texoma helped welcome tourists to the area. Stephanie Brletic has the details.
The Oklahoma Welcome Center was a flurry of activity Friday, with one tourist after another stopping by to get information and enjoying food and drinks served by organizations in Durant and Lake Texoma.
It was a much different scene than last year’s floods, which ruined business on the lake.
"We had such a devastating year last year that any traffic we have is going to be better than what we had last year. And also, we look for probably the radius to be a little shorter in driving distance for people," Janet Reed at the Durant Chamber of Commerce says.
People worked feverishly in the off season to get the lake ready for tourists, and Lake Texoma Association executive director Ramona Clark-Judd says their hard work is really paying off, because travelers are already filling the camps to capacity.
"Last year they didn't get to come because of the high waters, and this year they're excited about being here, and we're even more excited about having them here." Clark-Judd says.
Reed says the one million people who stop by the Welcome Center in Bryan County often end up stopping at other local places boosting the economy.
"Our take is we will have a percentage of those that will stop in our area. We need to become a destination city. We need to let them know that we have things to offer visitors and travelers that are coming through our area."
Oklahoma has much to offer visitors, but tourist Jan Scott says it's more than the 580 miles of shoreline at the lake that keeps her coming back to Oklahoma.
"I think the people. I think being from the south and having traveled the U.S. we have the friendliest people down here."
For people still looking for a place at the already-packed lake, Clark-Judd encourages visitors to stop by anyway, saying, “The more, the merrier.”