Craig Day, News On 6
GRAND LAKE, Oklahoma -- Grand things are happening along Grand Lake. The transformation of Shangri La into a showpiece for Oklahoma tourism is well underway.
More than $250 million in improvements will be made at the Oklahoma landmark getaway. The first phase of the huge project is well underway.
Just as impressive as the natural beauty of Grand Lake is a project on Monkey Island at its halfway point of construction, a new 13,000 square foot clubhouse at Shangri La.
"It's definitely iconic for the lake, there won't be a building nicer on the lake," said Shangri La General Manager Jason Sheffield.
The $5 million clubhouse at Shangri La will feature an 80 seat restaurant, a pro shop, fitness center, and more.
Sheffield describes it as modern amenities with an old world feel.
Along with its tall ceilings and intricate stonework, the facility will also have impressive views of the lake and golf courses.
"This is the main reason we put the clubhouse where we did was to get that view," Sheffield said.
Work is also underway on nine new golf holes which will open in August. Then restoration work will begin on 18 more.
"We'll be a top ten course in the region," he said.
The course improvements and clubhouse are part of the first phase of a comprehensive $250 million plan, which eventually will include a hotel and convention center.
"We have to make Shangri La a destination again," Sheffield said
That's the goal, making Shangri La better than ever and returning it to the ranks of the top tourism and recreation hot spots, not just in Oklahoma but the entire region.
"It's great being a part of redeeming something, and seeing it kind of rise from the ashes and become something beautiful again that people want to be a part of and what to come back to," Sheffield said.
That return to greatness begins with the clubhouse, which should be finished by Memorial Day weekend.
And even with the ongoing golf course improvements, there will always be 18 holes open and available for golfers to play at Shangri La.