Tough questions asked at Marshall Co. meeting

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MADILL, Okla.-- Marshall County residents are concerned over the future of their campsites. Some tough questions were asked Friday morning in Madill at a meeting organized by the Marshall County Chamber Of Commerce. Robin Beal has the story .

The morning began with a presentation by the Lake Texoma Association, and ended with some tough questions, and State Representative Terry Hyman, caught in the fray.

"You know I have already lost revenue. I run probably 50-50- 50% community and 50% tourism. And my tourism revenues are down," one business owner said.

Concerns from a Marshall County business owner and questions from the community make for a scene which has played out many times before, but today, perhaps with renewed zeal leading up to the May 21 tourism meeting in Oklahoma City.

"We want to be proactive in preparing for any loss of campsites any loss of tourism dollars, and we want to be heard and make sure that people know we want to keep those campsites in Marshall County, and keep the tourists coming to where they've become used to coming," Vicki Byrd of the Marshall County Chamber says.

Campsites are a key sticking point for a lot of residents amid concerns that there will not be enough to go around during the transition from state park to private resort. Many said the demand for campsites is already greater than the supply.

And what about recent talk in the community of Catfish Bay being in the sites of developers? Hyman couldn't say what the future holds.

"I feel like the tourism commission members have made it very clear that they want the private concessionaires such as Catfish Bay to be taken care of. And those are private negotiations between Pointe Vista developers and Catfish Bay, which basically do not include the state. So that's something basically that I have no knowledge of or no access to those private negotiations," Representative Hyman said.

A lot was discussed at that hour-plus meeting in a full conference room. As far as the next step for Marshall County, a meeting of state tourism officials in Oklahoma City is set for May 21. We should know much more then, including hopefully more about catfish bay's future as well what camping options people will have in the future. We will let you know what is decided.

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