It hasn't even officially opened, but one of Green Country's newest event centers is already booking up on Skiatook Lake. Friday evening, developers cut the ribbon the Skiatook Springs Event Center.
Since we first looked at it months ago, the place has transformed into what developers say will be one of the most sought out wedding and event centers in the nation.
Skiatook Springs Event Center Developer, Ron Howell said he's never seen the lake prettier. It's higher than it's been in recent memory - just a mere two feet below normal - and the rise in the water means business is better than ever.
But the Skiatook Springs Event Center is one lake business that's opening for the first time.
The tables were dressed in red, white and blue, because the grand opening is a fundraiser to support Partners for Heroes, a non-profit aimed at helping returning soldiers and first responders deal with stress.
“To start off with something that's for our heroes makes it particularly special,” Howell said.
Howell is also the developer of the CrossTimbers Marina. That development, Howell said, catapulted growth in the area, contributing to $2 million in Osage County property taxes in just ten years.
“That's probably not real serious money in a big city, but that's very serious money in a community like this,” he said.
Those tax dollars will keep rolling in, he said.
The venue hasn't even opened and 60 weddings are already booked, and Howell estimates they'll book at least 130 weddings each year, bringing in at least 180 people per event.
“This event center will bring so many guests that will see this for the first time,” he said.
The future Mr. and Mrs. Sam Walton - no, not that Sam Walton - were out scouting a venue where they say 'I do' next May.
“I need an outdoor wedding, that's something I've always wanted,” said bride-to-be, Kara.
She said she was sold from the get-go.
“It's rustic…everything I wanted,” she said.
But it's not just for weddings; it will host corporate events or meetings, all with a view you could only find in Oklahoma.