The state of Oklahoma recently completed a $750,000 renovation of the Seminole Campground in Sequoyah State Park near Hulbert, 30 miles southeast of Tulsa.
The renovation includes construction of 40 RV campsites, campsite amenities and associated utility systems. Amenities include lantern hangers, 50-amp hook-ups, all-concrete paved pads, grills, concrete tables water and sewer connections, according to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD).
At the grand opening ceremony, Hardy Watkins, OTRD executive director, said his department is taking a look at their entire system and finding ways to stay competitive with other states, according to the Muskogee Daily Phoenix.
“This is a higher-density tourism area,” he said. “We looked at the condition of our facilities, and we’re targeting re-investment to improve the caliber of our assets that we have.”
Watkins said the Seminole Campground is a new and more competitive way for Oklahomans and visitors to use the park system.
“There lots of trees, lots of water views (Fort Gibson Lake), so the sites are spaced wider apart,” he said. “The pads are wider for the expansion of a lot of the RVs. This is the future of the system we’re seeking to offer across the state.”
Watkins said the Seminole Campground is among the earliest new campground completions.
“We anticipate this will be a very popular campground,” he said. “We’re see a growing number of users at our parks; we have had 150,000 more than last year. Doing these kinds of things help us grow the tourism economy in Oklahoma.”
Also attending the grand opening was Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, who said tourism has a huge importance to the economy in Oklahoma.
“Especially in eastern Oklahoma where the landscape allows for these lakes and parks,” he said. “The Department of Tourism itself generates about $30 million a year in fees and camping fees and sales.”
Wilson said tourism ranks third in generating income for Oklahoma, behind agriculture and natural gas and oil.