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Tourism Department: OK is More than OK!

Background

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department’s function is to preserve, manage and promotes the state’s natural and cultural assets.

Executive Director: Deby Snodgrass | FY 2012 appropriation: $21,803,003 (3.1 percent cut from FY 2011)

The OTRD’s governing body is the nine-member Tourism Commission, which is chaired by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb. The department oversees several key subdivisions and offices:

Oklahoma Today Magazine
Published since 1956, Oklahoma Today is a general interest magazine that covers the people, history and culture of the state. It has a paid circulation of $45,000.

Parks, Resorts and Golf
The division that operates state parks, lodges and golf courses, and manages certain leased concessions like marinas. The parks division also administers federal grants for developing outdoor recreation.

Travel and Tourism
This division helps create plans and programs to market Oklahoma’s attractions. This department works with cities, communities and private associations to help them attract and promote historic events, conferences, meetings and conventions.

The Film and Music Office
A department within the Travel and Tourism division, this office was created in 1979 to promote the state’s film, television, video and music industries. This office promotes Oklahoma as a location for feature films and works as a liaison between production companies and local businesses. The OF&MO also helps secure permits and media access.

The OF&MO also administers three incentive programs for state film and music projects.

Latest Posts

How Hugo Lake Lost Its State Park Status

Fishing near Hugo Lake park, which lost its state park status in June 2013.

The Oklahoma Tourism Commission on June 26 voted to strip Hugo Lake of its state park status, citing low attendance. The commission acted “quietly,” but state Sen. Jerry Ellis, D-Valliant, responded loudly, The Journal Record’s M. Scott Carter reports: On Aug. 2, Ellis sent a letter to Republican Gov. Mary Fallin asking that the Tourism [...]

Oklahoma Film Incentives: Too Small to Cut?

Jessica Alba, Casey Affleck and Kate Hudson at the after party for "The Killer Inside Me," which was filmed in Oklahoma and recieved state subsidies.

In states across the country, subsidies and tax credits for film projects are being left on the cutting room floor. Oklahoma’s $5 million incentive program — which was among those scrutinized by the tax credit task force — is at risk, and state filmmakers and supporters are fighting back, according to Oklahoma Watch, which reports [...]

The Task Force is Done, But the Tax Credit Battle Has Just Begun

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The tax credit task force on Wednesday formally approved its final report and a list of recommendations to be considered by Gov. Mary Fallin and the Legislature. Over months of meetings, the task force heard from industry insiders, small and large business leaders and state officials, who defended specific credits and incentives. The testimony was [...]

What We Learned About Film Incentives at Wednesday’s Tax Credit Task Force Meeting

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A filmmaker, screenwriter and general contractor joined tourism officials at the state Capitol on Wednesday to defend rebates created to bring movie productions to Oklahoma. The supporters spoke to the 10-member tax credit task force, which is examining the economic value of various tax credits and incentive programs. Qualifying movie projects can receive a rebate [...]

Tribes Save Boggy Depot Park After State Spending Cuts

Boggy Depot was among seven sites stripped of their state park status in 2011.

Despite its historical significance, Boggy Depot State Park was on the list of seven state parks scheduled to close as agency budgets were slashed for Fiscal Year 2012. But the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations couldn’t let that happen. Boggy Depot: ex-state park. It’s not easy to find along potholed country roads in rural Atoka County. [...]

Timeline: How Boggy Depot State Park Returned to Its Tribal Roots

Faced with budget cuts, the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation in March announced plans to strip seven sites from its roster of state parks, which included Boggy Depot, a park that memorializes a town with significant historic and cultural ties to Oklahoma. Despite losing its state park status, the site will remain open thanks [...]

The Five Least Expensive State Parks in Oklahoma

The Talimena National Scenic Drive (pictured above) starts at Talimena State Park and extends 54 miles into Arkansas.

Cities and American Indian tribes recently assumed control of seven state parks, which state Tourism and Recreation Department officials said would save taxpayers about $700,000 a year. We’ve been digging into the data to see where the costs are when it comes to state parks. Last week, we reported on Oklahoma’s five most expensive state [...]

A Tale of Two Cities: Paying For Parks When the State Trims Its Budget

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Along a dead-straight expanse of State Highway 23, the rolling hills of the Oklahoma Panhandle give way to wind swept sand dunes. Roadrunners scurry as Shay Williams revs the engine of his ATV and races across the little slice of desert known as Beaver Dunes Park — formerly Beaver Dunes State Park. That was before [...]

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