Many people will be heading to the lakes over the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend. Lots of people go to Grand or Tenkiller or Fort Gibson. But not as many go to Lake Skiatook, Even though it's just minutes from downtown Tulsa, there hasn't been much development on the lake.
News on 6 business Reporter Steve Berg says that is about to change.
It has some of the cleanest water of any Oklahoma lakes. So why don't people come come to Skiatook Lake? "Skiatook Lake is a very beautiful lake, but it has not been developed very much." Developer Kevin Coutant explains it's only been recently that the Army Corps of Engineers has begun experimenting with private development on its lakes.
Coutant's group just began cutting the first road down to the site. The Cross Timbers Resort is one of just a few dozen places in the whole country where the government will try this pilot program.
Coutant feels itâ€™s the best of both worlds, the quality of a privately-run resort combined with complete public access. "It'll be a resort in the sense that we're used to speaking of resorts. We think it will be a very nice one, but it will be open for business."
Right now, there's just a small construction dock, but by this time next year, there will be a whole new marina at the lake and over a nearby ridge, they'll have a conference center and the first 20 of what they hope will be 200 cottages.
For those tired of the sometimes, shabby-looking state-run resorts, this will be a welcome change. Their goal is to simulate the natural look and evolution of a village, with a variety of architecture. "So you have some structures that look a bit more urban at the town center in their overall feel and scale and then some that as you move away from that town center that are little less formal, a little more rural in a sense or maybe suburban."
Of course, it will all be created much more quickly. But then, development here is making up for lost time. Plans also call for restaurants, a golf course, and a wedding chapel. They say the resort will take a few years to fully develop.