New director has plans to boost Oklahoma tourism
(KTEN) — Shelley Zumwalt, the new executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation, has big plans for the agency.
Zumwalt said her previous experience and skills prepared her to lead an organization to act decisively and responsibly with taxpayer dollars.
“I started last Wednesday. It's exciting,” Zumwalt explained. "This is an agency where things move fast, so trying to get up to speed and make sure you are making knowledgeable decisions and serving the citizens in a way that really highlights the amazing things we have here.”
She is looking at new resources and opportunities to bring to tourism destinations like state parks.
“Do we need more recreation opportunities, or do we need to partner with another private or public entity to bring something new to the area?” Zumwalt asked.
The department is also looking to get more Oklahomans and travelers out to enjoy activities available across the state.
“How do we give people trying to save some money the best experience we can? And a lot of times that will involve our state parks, camping, and staying at one of our lodges,” Zumwalt said. “There are a lot of great activities right down the road from a lot of our citizens. We have to make sure they know about them.”
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation started working on surface repairs near Lake Murray earlier this month, which will help ensure visitors can easily access its facilities for years to come.
“Removing the roadway surface and reworking that, and in two of these areas actually putting in reinforcement to bridge over softer areas and bring it to the surface,” said ODOT District 7 assistant maintenance engineer Tracy Terrill. “These repairs will hopefully last longer than what we could accomplish with a simple overlay.”
Surface repairs on State Highway 77S should be completed by the end of October.
“We should have things opened soon on the area just south of Martin's Landing Friday,” Terrill said.”We’ve worked with Lake Murray management to coordinate with them, and all of the services at the lake have been open during the project.”
Below is a list of closure locations on SH-77S from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation:
SH-77S will be intermittently closed in several locations near Lake Murray beginning Monday through October. The following areas will be closed for three days for surface repairs throughout the month with no closures on the weekends.
West side of Lake Murray between:
- Field Trial Road and Compound Road (ranger station entrance)
- Compound Road and Pecan Grove
- Boat Dock Road (entrance to Lake Murray Marina) and Buzzard’s Roost
- Rocky Acres Road and Tucker Tower
- East Side of Lake Murray between:
- Rock Tower Road and Legate Road
- Edgewood Road and Martin’s Landing
- Martin’s Landing and Sunset Beach