Chickasaw Nation Welcome Center opens at I-35 Exit 55 near Davis

Welcome center features interactive trip-planning portals, acts as gateway to Chickasaw Country

DAVIS, Okla. – Travelers along Interstate 35 in south-central Oklahoma now have a new place to stop, shop and stretch. Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby and other officials today took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Chickasaw Nation Welcome Center and Bedré Fine Chocolates retail store. Both venues are located at the southwest corner of I-35 and S.H. 7 at exit 55 in Murray County.

Governor Anoatubby said the new welcome center continues the Nation’s strategic tourism effort that includes major projects in Davis, Sulphur, Chickasha and Thackerville areas.

“This Welcome Center is the gateway for many family-friendly attractions and cultural destinations in south central Oklahoma,” said Gov. Anoatubby. “This is an excellent location for us to share the heritage of the Chickasaw people as well as to create an educational experience and a comfortable, inviting spot to take a break for the thousands who travel along I-35 each day.”

The 5,500-square-foot Welcome Center features information about the hundreds of destinations and lodging options located in Chickasaw Country as well as two interactive kiosks. The kiosks will enable visitors to customize a travel route from hotel to attraction to restaurant and everything in between.

The Welcome Center also will feature works of art by Native American artists. And, it will have a gift shop featuring Made in Oklahoma products, a lounge area, vending machines, an outdoor children’s playground, a dog park and public restrooms. Free coffee for all visitors is available as well as ample parking to accommodate campers and trailers.

The Chickasaw Nation Welcome Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. November through February and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. March through October. Travel information and brochures for destinations throughout Oklahoma will be available 24 hours per day.

Next door to the new Welcome Center is a 34,600 square-foot Bedré Fine Chocolates manufacturing facility, which is expected to open in the spring of 2013. The facility will offer visitors an up-close, chocolate experience and event space for groups.

More than 3 million people visit Murray County each year. Other attractions in the area include Chickasaw Nation Cultural Center, Turner Falls, Lake of the Arbuckles and many others.

Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby addresses a crowd of about 250 at the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the Chickasaw Nation Welcome Center and Bedré Fine Chocolates retail store Thursday, Nov. 29.
Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, center with large scissors, is joined by tribal officials to cut the ribbon to officially open the new Chickasaw Welcome Center and Bedré Fine Chocolates retail store Thursday, Nov. 29. Joining Gov. Anoatubby, from left, tribal legislators Tim Colbert, Katie Case and Scott Wood; tribal justice Cheri Bellefeuille-Gordon, legislators Toby Perkins, Connie Barker, Dean McManus, Nancy Elliot, Shana Tate Hammond, Mary Jo Green, David Woerz, Linda Briggs and Beth Alexander; Gov. Anoatubby, Lt. Gov. Jefferson Keel, commerce CEO Bill Lance; legislator Steven Woods and justice Barbara Smith. The facilities, located at the southwest corner of exit 55 on I-35 near Davis, Okla., includes a retail store featuring Bedré Fine Chocolates, fine art by Native American artists and Made-In-Oklahoma products. Travelers can stop by for travel information, complimentary coffee and clean restrooms. Photo by Marcy Gray.