Western Hills Guest Ranch is having a great summer, not like last year

Tuesday, July 29th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

What a difference a year makes. Western Hills Guest Ranch at Sequoyah State Park has had a terrific summer. That following rumors last summer they would close because of problems with the sewer system.

News on 6 consumer reporter Rick Wells went to the park Tuesday to check out the recovery from last summer's environmental problems.

A year ago, there were some problem at the sewer lagoons in the park. I'll spare you the details on how sewer lagoons work, and the point is, some weren't working right. The environmental folks demanded repairs, and closed bathhouses and restrooms in some camping areas at the park until that was done.

Western Hills Lodge at Sequoyah State park was not directly affected by the sewer problems, indirectly it killed their business. WA Wright with Western Hills Guest Ranch: "we had a really bad summer last year with all the negative publicity. Sales have picked up to where they were and are even up about 30% this year."

Tour buses are back too. A Mercy Health Care seniors group from Oklahoma City stopped in for lunch Tuesday on their way home.

In the Cherokee campsite, up the road, there's noticeable improvement this year over last. Camper Bill Silver: "being able to use the restrooms and showers that's a big help." Bill Silver and Craig Garver are still getting set up, this has been and annual pilgrimage of family and friends to the park from Broken Arrow. Silver: "Let's see, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 11 of us right now.”

The park has added some new features. There's a nature center, complete with a permanent building for classes and workshops and animals. Like a beaver that loves apples. Sequoyah State Park and Western Hills Lodge is located between Wagoner and Tahlequah, about an hour from Tulsa. Of course, it's busier on the weekends. Silver: "a week from Saturday we'll probably have 40 or 50 people down here." The park manager says there's plenty of room for the rest of us.

Want to know more about Sequoyah State Park and Western Hills Guest Ranch, call them at 918-772-2545 or 800-368-1486.