SULPHUR, OK-- The Chickasaw Nation broke ground today on a new visitor center that they hope will put Murray county on the map and tourist dollars into its economy.
The visitor center will be built directly in front of the artesian hotel, officials with the Chickasaw Nation said they expect it will bring thousands of visitors to the area.
"The economic impact is going to be phenomenal we're really looking forward to the visitors center and the artesian being opened" said Bellefeuille-Gordon.
Today dozens of people gathered to watch Chickasaw Governor Bill Anoatubby and other tribal officials break ground on the soon to be visitor center. Governor Anoatubby said the center will highlight local attractions.
"We are excited about it we see a great deal of opportunity not only for us but for anybody around us here and it's a part of a grand plan that we have to improve tourism in the area and to improve the economy of the area through tourism" said Anoatubby.
The 8,500-square-foot center will create 8 new jobs and offer information and showcase the history of all the attractions in Murray county. Cheri Bellefeuille-Gordon said she has lived in Sulphur for over 40 years and is thrilled the new center will bring more tourists to the area.
"We are so grateful to the Chickasaw Nation and what they're doing to Sulphur and to our economic development and just putting Murray county and Sulphur on the map in the state of Oklahoma" said Bellefeuille-Gordon.
Shelly Sawatzky with the Sulphur chamber of commerce says the visitors center will not only be beneficial to visitors but also locals.
"It will help educate the people that are here, there is so much to do that they really don't know where to start and so they need a little guidance" said Sawatzy.
The visitor center and the artesian hotel are expected to be completed by summer 2013.