Bringing tourism back to Durant

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

DURANT, Okla. -- Thousands of cars pass through Durant on Highway 69/75 everyday. The only problem is few of them are stopping and taking advantage of what Durant has to offer. That’s why state officials stopped by to see if they can help.

Representatives from the Okalahoma State Tourism and Recreation Department have been touring the city for on Thursday and Friday.

On Friday, they spoke to members of the Durant Chamber of Commerce on how to market and package their product for tourism, something which has been hurt significantly with Lake Texoma cresting above 640 feet.

Officials say sales tax figures in Kingston dropped 60 percent in the month of June from last year, and in Durant sales tax revenue has fallen significantly as well with exact numbers coming in sometime in October.

State officials say Durant is way ahead of many small communities in bringing in more people, but it’s the way they do it that will be key to their future.

"We’ve really been talking about partnerships to showcase all the great products that are already here and packaging them and just working together," said Oklahoma tourism public relations director Lindsay Vidrine.

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  • by Ted Location: Durant on Aug 13, 2007 at 10:51 AM
    Bring tourism back to Durant! What are they going to tour. I'm a life long resident of the city of Durant, and I couldn't tell one reason a tourist would ever come here. Unless it would be to see the giant peanut. Youy can't bring something that never was. Wake up!!
  • by Texoma Location: GC on Aug 12, 2007 at 08:16 AM
    1 - The lodge being closed has nothing to do with Durants lack of tourism. The community leaders need to be creative & build a base for that. The lake only provides a residual effect for possible people in the area but if you don't have a way to draw them to your community they won't come. What's so funny is they thought a cast iron peanut would draw people to town, what a joke. 2 - The thought of getting area towns to work together from different states (or even same states but different countys) sounds good in theory but will never happen for thousands of reasons. 3 - The Choctaws and/or the state need to build an overpass at that dad gum bingo hall out on hwy 75. This is the biggest pain in the whoopi & it's a wonder more people haven't been involved in car accidents here. That is a goat rope in progress. What a mess & it won't help draw people to the area.
  • by Anne Location: Denison, Texas on Aug 11, 2007 at 09:51 AM
    Why can't Durant partner with Denison and Pottsboro in promoting a regional tourism development plan? It would require two states working together, plus the Choctaw Nation. But the payoff would be much greater than any of the partners working alone.
  • by Anonymous Location: kingston on Aug 10, 2007 at 05:43 PM
    It would be nice for the lodge and cabins to be open and functioning. But this summer it would have hardly made a difference with the weather we've had.
  • by Randy Location: Durant on Aug 10, 2007 at 03:47 PM
    The OK tourism dept. should well know the reason that tourism is down for the Durant area. They are the ones who chose to prematurely close the Texoma lodge and state park cabins. That decision crippled the local economy and the best tourism draw to our area stands empty with no development anywhere in sight. Everyone needs to contact the tourism department and express their desire to re-open the state park cabins if the developers don't proceed with their plans soon.
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