The Tulsa Route 66 Commission showed interest Tuesday in a proposal to revitalize west Tulsa’s Howard Park by opening an RV park there.
Tulsa County Deputy Treasurer John Fothergill made the pitch for putting out a request for proposals to build an RV park with up to 70 spaces. Fothergill said a set of Vision-funded limestone monoliths installed at Howard Park in 2017 hasn’t done enough to boost tourism.
"The reason we put all this money in the Vision for Route 66 was have the ‘string of pearls’ as everyone knows and to have a reason for people to stop, get out of their car and spend money. Right? And so, an RV park does that automatically," Fothergill said.
Fothergill envisions the RV park as a landmark. Commission member Rhys Martin said a standout RV park on the Mother Road is not without precedent, even in Tulsa.
"There’s the Mingo RV Park just north of the traffic circle that has a great, big neon sign that says Route 66. They have a custom-carved tree up there with the Blue Whale in it and the 66 shield and the little car and a gas station, and, you know, they’re huge," Martin said.
Fothergill said the goal is a tourist spot, not a long-term campground, so stays could be limited by policy or high-enough fees. While the Route 66 Commission was generally supportive of the idea, it could not go forward without clearing the city park board and any restrictions set when Howard Park was deeded to the city.