Development, Growth Continue Along Skiatook Lake

Friday, January 23rd 2015, 8:27 pm
By: Tess Maune

Construction is months away from completion, but one of Green Country's newest event centers is already booking up on Skiatook Lake.

If you walked inside the Skiatook Springs Event Center right now, you would feel the chill of the winter blowing in from the windows that are waiting on glass to be installed. You'd hear a constant sound of hand sanders and hammers and you'd see about a dozen construction workers, busy building the 10,600 square foot event center.

Soon, developers say it will transform into one of the most sought-out wedding and corporate conference venues in the area, with a rustic elegant flare and a perfect view of Skiatook Lake.

“This is our first one on the lake, and it just tickles us to death. This is absolutely beautiful out here; this will probably be our flagship,” said Larry Kruzie, The Springs Event Founder.

Kruzie calls himself a wedding dude. He owns 17 event centers and books 1,800 weddings a year.

He has two centers in Oklahoma, the one under construction in Osage County and another in Edmond that opened about two years ago.

“That's our best facility. I hate to say that, but the Okies are beating the Texans,” he said.

The Skiatook Springs Event Center is likely on the same path.

Kruzie said eager brides have already booked events for the summer.

And if business goes according to plan in the first 18 months, Kruzie said he will build a second event center on Skiatook Lake.

“It's a beautiful place, we try to build something that's distinctive, that'll last a long time. We don't want a conventional building because after 10 or 20 years, it looks dated,” Kruzie said.

The event center is another addition to compliment the already successful CrossTimbers Marina on U.S. Army Corps of Engineer land at Skiatook Lake.

That development, Ron Howell, says catapulted growth in the area, contributing to $2 million in Osage County property taxes in just 10 years.

“Our next five years should even dwarf the last five or the first 10 in terms of the growth, you can see all the new houses going in and all the rest,” said Howell.

Lake development doesn't end with the event center; Howell said there are plans in the works for a nine-hole golf course.

Most of the holes would have a waterfront view, but Howell said he is working with land owners to open the possibility of expansion and an opportunity to live on the course.

“It'd be a very dramatic golf course,” Howell said.

The course will stand out in many ways, but the most important aspect, he said, is that it will benefit those living with a disability.

“It will allow folks that have physical challenges, to be able to have the special carts that actually go up on the greens and be able to go into the traps,” Howell said. “Many of these special pieces of equipment actually can stand up people that have had spinal cord injuries and stand them up, they take their shot, it sits them back down.”

Howell said revenue from the public course would go to support Partners for Heroes, a non-profit aimed at helping returning soldiers and first responders deal with stress.

Construction for that is still a few years away so, for now, the focus is the lake's newest attraction.

“How do you beat the trees and the lake and the view,” Kruzie asked.

You can't.

The grand opening celebration is scheduled for the first of July.

You can learn more about the venue, including pricing at The Springs Event website.