Spacious lakeview rooms, spectacular ballroom among highlights of new Lake Murray State Park Lodge
By Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department
Mar 7, 2017
Lake Murray State Park has meaning for generations of Oklahomans. It means weekends at the lake, afternoons on the links and nights under the stars. It means crystal blue waters perfect for splashing around, floating along or paddling across.
As the Oklahoma State Parks system celebrates its 80th birthday, it also marks a new beginning for Oklahoma’s first and largest state park. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department celebrated the opening of the new Lake Murray State Park Lodge.
“The completion of this new lodge further enhances the recreational facilities of Lake Murray State Park and helps attract more visitors to a beautiful part of our state,” Governor Mary Fallin said. “This is an exciting development for Ardmore and south central Oklahoma.”
The six-building lodge complex’s design represents a new look for the Oklahoma State Parks lodges. It takes its cues from the natural environment of the area — particularly those aqua blue lake waters that have enticed Oklahomans since 1937, making Lake Murray State Park a beloved vacation spot.
“The completion of this new lodge is an exciting step in the growth of tourism and our state parks,” Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb said. “This new facility will continue to spur economic impact in Love and Carter Counties and will support growth of local small businesses in the area.”
The exterior features a dramatic porte cochere soaring above the entrance in a feather-like shape that is mimicked in the new lodge’s logo. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows throughout the structures will provide visitors with sweeping views of Lake Murray and surrounding landscape.
The Oklahoma State Parks interior design team has furnished the new lodge in rustic contemporary style, using materials like weathered zinc and walnut. Much of the furniture used in the lodge was made in the United States. Photos of the park shot in all four seasons hang on the walls of the rooms.
Each of the 32 spacious new guest rooms offers a view of the lake and a private balcony. All rooms sleep four, with one king-sized bed and a sleeper sofa or two queen-sized beds. Room rates will start at $109 for Sunday through Thursday and $129 for Fridays and Saturdays but are subject to change or differ for holidays or special events.
Also new is The Blue Heron, a lakeside restaurant whose menu will contain classic American favorites plus some more ambitious dishes. The restaurant’s patio lets guests dine right along the water, and a double-sided stone fireplace will keep everyone cozy inside and out during the cooler months.
The lodge also offers a 14,000-square-foot ballroom and plentiful space for meetings. Guests will love the ballroom’s open design with exposed trusses and custom chandeliers that evoke the look of rippling water. Located in the entrance to the ballroom will be rotating art exhibits featuring all Oklahoma artists. The first one will be curated by the Charles B. Goddard Center for the Visual & Performing Arts in Ardmore and will include six pieces from “Celebrating Farm Life,” a show the Goddard Center hosted last summer to commemorate the Noble Foundation’s 70th anniversary.
Other amenities found in the new lodge complex include a 775-square-foot fitness center, wireless internet and a coffee bar in the lobby.
For more information on the new lodge or to reserve a room, call 580-223-6600 or 800-257-0322 or visit www.TravelOK.com/MurraySP. For those who want to take in the park and the new lodge’s amenities but want more rustic accommodations, the park also has 56 pet-friendly cabins and numerous campsites available. Campsite reservations can be made at www.GoCampOK.com.
Lake Murray through the years
Lake Murray State Park truly is the park that started it all for the Oklahoma State Parks. Established in 1933 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Plan, the park and its early cabins were built by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps and were completed in 1937. In 1950, it became home to Oklahoma’s first state park lodge, which proved so popular that in the mid-1950s it was expanded and more cabins were added.
Today, the park is a blend of the old and the new. Visitors can still stay in those beautiful cabins that were painstakingly crafted by the CCC or spend a night at one of the many campgrounds, but there’s so much more to see and do.
Recent renovations to the greens and irrigation system have the 18-hole golf course in top shape, and in 2013, a new nature center opened with fun hands-on activities and exhibits on the history of the area.
One of the park’s original structures, Tucker Tower, has also seen recent renovations. The iconic landmark is now home to fascinating displays detailing the history of the CCC and Works Progress Administration and those groups’ role in Oklahoma State Parks’ history.
About the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department
The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department works to preserve, maintain and promote the state’s natural assets and cultural richness through tourism. The Department’s Travel Promotions division administers programs designed to build awareness of the state as a destination and educates on the economic importance of the Oklahoma travel and tourism industry. The staff also oversees the agency’s marketing and promotions efforts along with operating Tourism Information Centers located at major entry points around the state. To learn more about the Department, visit www.TravelOK.com.