By Craig Day, The News On 6
GRAND LAKE, OK -- Excitement is building on the shores of Grand Lake, especially on Monkey Island.
The legendary Shangri-La resort, once an Oklahoma tourist landmark, is being torn down to make way for something even bigger and better.
A lot is going on at Monkey Island on Grand Lake, and a lot coming down.
Crews are demolishing the old Shangri-La resort, built in the 60's, to make way for something new.
The owner, Tulsa businessman Eddy Gibbs, wants to bring back life to the area. That's starting to happen, first with the demolition, and soon the construction of a new 12,000 square foot, $5 million golf clubhouse.
"We need to do it right, because we're only going to do it once," Gibbs said.
Golf course improvements are being made right now, including replacing two holes.
"Rebuild all the bunkers eventually rebuild the greens," said Jason Sheffield, Country Club GM. "These are original greens they're over 30 years old."
The clubhouse will be finished by next spring, then work will begin on a new resort.
"Our lakes are a gift," Gibbs said. "Because they're not building any more of them. And this will be the first resort that is on one of our beautiful lakes in Oklahoma in a long, long time."
Plans for the 140 room hotel and convention center are still in the design phase.
"Mr. Gibbs loves this place. It's a very special place to him," Sheffield said. "And he wants to see it restored to the beauty that it once was."
"You don't have to fly to the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico and spend a lot of money to have a great time," Gibbs said. "You can do that right here at Shangri-La."
The huge copper eagle that has been on top of Shangri-La for decades was removed and is being cleaned up. It will be placed on top of the new clubhouse.
Construction on the new Shangri-La hotel and convention center will take about a year and a half. It's expected to be finished in the spring of 2012.