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RiverWest Festival Park Facelift Planned

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The home of Tulsa's Oktoberfest could be getting a facelift.

Plans are in the works to swap out the amphitheater at RiverWest Festival Park and replace old trails and add more parking.

The park brings in tens of thousands every year.

"We really love having this area here," said Carolyn Fairless, president of Tulsa Area Triathletes.

Fairless uses the park almost every day.

"Any improvement out here will be enjoyed by everybody not just by triathletes, by runners, by kids by bicyclists," she said.

The RiverParks Authority is banking on just that.

Executive Director Matt Meyers says renovations are long overdue.

"For big events there's not enough parking," Meyers said.

New parking is in the works to the north, and visitors could be driving through a new entryway.

"That's just an early concept," he said.

In the first phase of the project, double-wide trails will be put in, like the ones on the east side of the Arkansas River.

There are also plans for a new bridge that would connect to connect the trail that runs across the waterfront.

"Those green boxes are electrical hook ups, there's electrical lines everywhere… that is going to be replaced," Meyers said.

"In the second phase of the project the old amphitheater along with the floating stage would be demolished, Meyers says the water level is really inconsistent and the stage really isn't big enough to hold large bands or their equipment."

A sound stage also is in the works.

"We have the BOK [Center] and all the casinos… so this is more for festivals," Meyers said.

Meyers said while the designs are still tentative, the renovations should help set his park apart from the others.

"You have a view of the river, and a great view of downtown and if you're ever out here in the evening and looking at all that it's got kinda a special feel to it," Meyers said.

Plans are to do the first phase of the project after Oktoberfest 2013, with the second phase happening after 2014.

It should cost just over $6 million and will be paid for by the 2006 third-penny sales tax.

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