Cherokees Take Over Welcome Center

Tulsa, OK – Okla. tribe helps keep Tulsa welcome center open

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A partnership between the Cherokee Nation and the state Department of Tourism and Recreation is allowing the Oklahoma Welcome Center in east Tulsa to remain open.

Officials with the tribe and the agency on Tuesday marked the opening of the Cherokee Nation Welcome Center at Interstate 44 and 161st East Avenue.

Tribal officials say the 4,200-square foot center was in danger of being closed because of budget cuts. An agreement allows for daily operations to be transferred to the Cherokee Nation, which will continue promoting Oklahoma and Cherokee tourist destinations in the area.

The center will house an information desk, tourist destination information, maps, snacks and a gift shop.

Travel and Promotion Director Sandy Pantlik says the agency is grateful to the tribe for the partnership.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.