Officials from First National Bank of Vinita and Grove will host the second Excellence in Business Award ceremony on Friday, May 11, at Shangri-La Resort and Hotel on Monkey Island.

Eddy Gibbs, Shangri-La Golf Club, Resort and Marina owner, is the recipient of this year's Excellence in Business Award based upon his economic impact this year in northeast Oklahoma.

“This wasn’t just an investment opportunity for Gibbs, it was because he wanted to restore and renovate the legendary resort,” said Mark Londagin, First National Bank executive vice president for business development. “He did it in striking fashion.”

The economic impact of the renovated Shangri-La on Grand Lake, completed in 2017, is monumental.

For decades, Shangri-La Resort was known as the crown jewel of Grand Lake.

Then owners of the famed resort fell on hard times and it was being demolished until Gibbs, in 2010, invested $65 million. The resort now employs 220 people from Craig, Delaware and Ottawa counties.

Based on payroll, revenue, guest nights and the normal economic multipliers utilized in the industry, $80 million per year is the conservative estimate for the resort's annual economic impact, said Mike Williams. Shangri-La Resort director of communications. “That doesn’t include the substantial residential real estate development at The Gallery with its 15 new homes and The Ridge with its 38 new homes."

Williams estimates the resort and its combined properties has at least a $100 million per year economic impact in northeast Oklahoma. 

"The 1970s Shangri-La was never designed for children and families," Gibbs said.

While the resort is considered one of Oklahoma's premier golf courses, Gibbs said he did not buy Shangri-La for the golf.

"I wanted to make it different, it was for my family," Gibbs said.

The full-service resort is home to one of the largest pools and splash pads in the state, which can host 500 water aficionados each day.

Weekends are usually booked and the resort expects even better occupancy this year. Gibbs also intends to host corporate and business groups and to provide convention services.

This is the second year First National Bank officials have presented the award. Last year's recipient was Cherokee Casino Grove. 

Shangri-La Golf Club, Resort, and Marina is located at the tip of Monkey Island on Grand Lake. For more information, persons interested may call 918-257-4204.