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OTRD, OTA Seeking Naming Suggestions for Vinita Service Plaza
By Oklahoma Tourism Staff
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, in conjunction with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, is seeking entries for the naming of the Vinita service plaza, located over the Will Rogers Turnpike. The public is invited to submit naming ideas via TravelOK’s Facebook page or by emailing the department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTA announced plans to spend $14.6 million to modernize the facility earlier this spring. Following completion of the project, McDonald’s will resume operations in the facility and Subway will be added as a new dining option. Kum and Go will operate convenience stores on either side of the turnpike.
The renovation is expected to take at least a year, and the plaza will be closed during the renovation process. It is expected that up to 4,000 visitors already stop at the service plaza each day. OTRD will provide information on tourism sites, festivals, and other events from across the state inside the renovated facility.
The 29,135-square foot space originally opened as a glass house restaurant operated by Interstate Hosts in 1957. The facility was at one time, the world’s largest McDonald’s. The glass house also formerly operated as a Howard Johnson’s restaurant.
“We look forward to enhancing services offered to customers and visitors to Oklahoma through this iconic structure,” said Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Executive Director Tim Stewart. “We appreciate the partnership with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department to highlight this unique venue.”
The announcement comes as May 4-12 has been designated as national travel and tourism week in the United States. Travel and tourism is a $6.2 billion industry for Oklahoma, providing 75,000 jobs and generating $349.5 million in tax revenue for the state treasury (U.S. Travel, based on 2010 figures). Travel employs a broad and diverse workforce, from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers. Travel further supports employees in other industry sectors, such as construction, manufacturing and finance.