Grove has long been known as the commercial hub of Northeast Oklahoma and the Grand Lake area, but that didn’t necessarily mean that there was a lot happening in Grove.
But as we roll into the spring and summer of 2017, that idea that Grove is that sleepy town at Grand Lake just doesn’t seem to hold up anymore.
Things started changing back in 2009 with the opening of the state of the art $56 million INTEGRIS Grove Hospital that has created a healthcare destination in Grove with several specialty clinics now located nearby.
This started things off by not just creating a great place for people to receive healthcare, but also positioned Grove as a great place for medical professionals to live and work.
Another big event for Grove was just that…a BIG event. Actually, two events.
When the 2013 Bassmaster Classic came to Grove (and returned in 2016), it was just the kick in the pants the city needed to go to work creating the Wolf Creek Park and Boating Facility.
Wolf Creek Park has evolved into one of the top, if not THE top, fishing facilities in the country, hosting dozens and dozens of fishing tournaments every year.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Grand Lake is a world class fishery.
But the construction, and ongoing improvements, of this facility has put Grove on the very short list of best places in the United States to host a fishing tournament.
Another thing that’s been going on the last several years is the re-birth of Shangri-La on Monkey Island.
Once one of the top destination resorts in all the country, Shangri-La had all but disappeared until Eddy Gibbs came along in 2010.
Since then, the golf course – which had become overgrown fields – has been expertly redone to feature 27 championship quality holes; a beautiful 13,000 square foot clubhouse that includes the excellent Summit Restaurant and Buffalo Bar was built; and the refurbishment of the Shangri-La Marina have all been completed.
And the crowning achievement of the Shangri-La revival will be the opening of the new, 120 room Shangri-La Resort Hotel, a much needed lakeside resort and conference center on Grand Lake.
This resort will offer guests a lakeside getaway with championship golf, large resort pool area, luxury spa, a bar with a roof-top patio overlooking Grand Lake, plus 8,000 square feet of conference and ballroom space.
And just like the hospital, the renaissance at Shangri-La not only brings people and money to Grove and Grand Lake but also creates a bunch of good paying jobs for those of us that call this area home.
Also across Sailboat Bridge was the recent opening on the brand new Cherokee Casino Grove.
This 39,000 square foot facility has brought over 170 more jobs to the area with plans for future expansion.
Given the success of the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Catoosa plus the other Cherokee casinos throughout the region, this is a great thing for Grove moving forward.
And while neither the Cherokee Casino Grove or the Grand Lake Casino (East of town on Highway 10) are in Grove, they certainly bring good paying jobs to the area while also providing entertainment options for residents and visitors alike.
Don’t forget about the ongoing expansion of the aerospace industry either.
The new Ferra Aerospace facility is expected to employ 100 people by 2020 and Orizon Aerostructures recently announced a $45 million investment that will expand the existing 140,000-square-foot building by an additional 80,000 square-feet and add 60 jobs.
These two businesses, along with Pride Plating, Inc., are well known worldwide in the aerospace industry and are great assets to the Grove community.
One of the things that helps attract and keep businesses like this in Grove is the new airplane/jet apron at the Grove airport that is large enough to easily accommodate the growing number of business jets that can be seen landing weekly at the airport.
And that new multi-million dollar facility and terminal building at the airport doesn’t hurt!
That is why investments within the community, on things like the Wolf Creek Park facility and the Grove Airport are so important to a community.
And you certainly can’t forget about the Grove schools.
One of the hallmarks of a great schools system is seen in the support in the local community, and Grove certainly has that.
If you’ve been out by the Grove High School recently, you’ve no doubt seen the construction of the new, bond issue supported, performing arts center which will be one of a kind in Northeast Oklahoma.
And the Grove Education Foundation for Excellence (GEFFE) has awarded over $1,000,000 (one MILLION dollars!) in the form of grants to teachers and to fill needs identified within the district.
Downtown Grove is seeing a successful revitalization effort with lots of new businesses either relocating to downtown or opening new – like the recently opened 1909, which bills itself as Grove’ Gastropub.
Grove is also home to many great events (already mentioned all the fishing tournaments) including boating events like the GLOC Performance Boat Shootout and other large events like the Grove Home and Garden Show, the Grand Lake Boat Show and the Pelican Festival each fall.
The Grove Rotary has started a Grow with Grove initiative that is focused on improving all aspects of the Grove community and keeping the small town charm while promoting Grove as a great place to visit and live.
This project is just getting started but it’s projects like this that keep moving communities forward.
ALL of this, and located right along the shores of Grand Lake – offering you affordable real estate, great fishing, boating, golf, lakefront dining and all the perks of the ‘lake’ lifestyle.
It really is a great time to be in Grove at Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees!