Tribe's Echota Village RV Park opens sept. 1
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT EDITOR
TAHLEQUAH – Only four months after its approval, the Echota Village RV Park will be officially open to the public for recreational vehicle and primitive camping on September 1, just in time for Labor Day weekend.
The business venture will be open year-round after being approved by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Corporate Board in April under Resolution 18-UKBCB-1.
Phase I initially approved the installation and operation of 10 recreational vehicle hookups and pads, which has now expanded to include 16, as well as a convenience store complete with snacks, cigarettes and a beer cave.
“My goal was just to bring a little hope to the tribe, that here’s something, a little business and there’s hope for more things in the future. We were just dormant for so long, but those days are over,” said Anile Locust, UKB Corporate Board secretary.
The site is located at 1635 Highway 10 in Tahlequah, near the Illinois River and across from Falcon Floats.
Visitors can reserve a pad with either 50 or 30-amp breakers for $35 a night Monday through Wednesday and for $40 from Thursday through Sunday. The park also offers visitors a weekly rate of $210, or a monthly rate of $550. Primitive camping throughout the week are also available for $12 per carload.
Seasonal rates from April to October are also available for $1,750 plus electric. There is a six-guest maximum, with 2 adults and up to four unmarried children. For holidays and special event stays, the park requires a three-night minimum.
The project budget for Phase I was $59,950 and its goal is to capitalize on the high traffic area of Highway 10. By generating business, the Corporate Board will be able to use the revenue to pursue other economic development projects that will benefit the tribe and its members.
Since construction began on the project, plumbers and electricians have brought the area up to code and prepared it for campers.
“There were leaks everywhere when they turned the water on and so they had to go in and fix all that,” said Jamie Thompson, UKB assistant chief. “Also some motor homes will have 50-amp breakers and some will have 30 amp breakers, so we got a combination of both of them. It’s all new and we will also have a dumping station.”
The primitive camping area will be located behind the RV park and the store will also sell camping supplies for visitors.
The site previously served as an RV park, but the new venture will extend its reach when Phase II of the project begins in 2019. The store will expand to include an eatery with a deck, as well as a consignment area for Keetoowah members to sell their artwork.
Operations will also expand to include floating, so that guests may take advantage of the village’s close proximity to the Illinois River.
“Next season we’ll really have a good store I think,” said Locust. “We’re going to buy a bunch of rafts and some canoes and probably order from a place that has the Indian designs. I think it’s going to be a big hit.”
To reserve an RV pad or primitive camping spot, visit www.echotavillagerv.com. For more information, contact Corporate Board Interim Executive Director Randall Hendricks at 918-871-2805.