The Anchor at Shangri-La Resort Named “Best New Attraction in Oklahoma”

Managed by award-winning operator Crescent Hotels & Resorts, premier Oklahoma destination celebrates new amenities
MONKEY ISLAND, OK – The Anchor, the indoor-outdoor activity park located at Shangri-La Resort, Oklahoma’s premier waterfront golf and outdoor recreation destination (managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, the award winning, nationally recognized operator of hotels and resorts with more than 120 properties in the United States & Canada), was awarded the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association’s (OTIA) coveted RedBud Award as the “Best New Attraction in Oklahoma.” The award was presented to Shangri-La representatives at the OTIA RedBud Award ceremonies at The Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City Tuesday, June 13.

The RedBud Awards represent the highest honor in the tourism industry in Oklahoma. Shangri-La has previously been honored as “Best Lodging in Oklahoma” in 2018 and the resort was named “Best Attraction in Oklahoma” in 2022. The Anchor, which opened in June 2021, was named “Best New Attraction” at the 2023 Awards Banquet.

“It’s a tremendous honor to have The Anchor recognized as the Best New Attraction in Oklahoma by the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association,” said Shangri-La Resort’s President & CEO Barry Willingham. “The Anchor is symbol of the growing spirit and culture that is making Shangri-La one of the most desirable resort destinations in the region and, along with The Battlefield – our showstopping new par-three golf course that complements our lauded 27 championship golf holes – is putting us on the radar as a ‘must visit’ for travelers from all over the country.”

Shaun Tune, Director of Operations at The Anchor was joined by Director of Catering Linda Wall and Director of Communications Mike Williams to accept the honor which was presented by Jenifer Reynolds, Executive Director of the “Discover Oklahoma” television series and Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department Chief of Staff Taylor Nelson.

The Anchor has become a premier tourism attraction for Grand Lake and northeastern Oklahoma. The facility is built on 6.5 acres of land at the resort and features tennis, pickleball, basketball, cornhole, sand volleyball, and a unique mini-Fenway WIFFLE®Ball park.

The 11,000 square foot indoor facility features a sports bar, food service, simulator bays with Trackman Golf and LaserShot shooting simulators, as well as a complete arcade with a variety of games including virtual reality games and rides. More traditional games such as ping-pong, pool, shuffleboard, darts, and foosball are also featured at the facility which has served to make Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees a true year-round destination.

The Anchor is just one of many amenities offered at Shangri-La – part of Crescent Hotels & Resorts’ Latitudes: Lifestyles by Crescent collection – including the Top Five 27-hole Championship Golf Course, a 119-room resort hotel with 9,000 square feet of versatile meeting space, a medical spa, indoor pool, expansive outdoor resort pool with tanning ledge, splash pad, and pool bar as well as a variety of dining options at Doc’s Bar & Grill, The Monkey Grind, The Summit Restaurant, and Eddy’s Lakeside Bar. Boat and personal watercraft rentals, yacht charters, and Oklahoma’s only parasailing adventures are also offered at Shangri-La Marina.

The Battlefield, Shangri-La’s all-new 18-hole Par 3 golf course is also open and will be officially dedicated at a special Grand Opening and Dedication Ceremonies at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 30, 2023. The Battlefield, which honors Oklahoma heroes of World War II as well as all veterans and military personnel, also offers an additional food and beverage option at The Canteen.

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About Shangri-La Resort
Shangri-La Resort, located on northeastern Oklahoma’s 46,500-acre Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, is the ultimate destination for relaxation and both indoor and outdoor activities. The resort hotel offers 9,000 square feet of versatile meeting and conference space, as well as a medical spa, steam room, sauna, fitness center, an indoor pool, and an expansive 6,500-square-foot outdoor pool with hot tub, tanning ledge, and splash pad. The resort offers six distinct dining and cocktails venues to complete an unforgettable getaway for golfers, families, groups, corporate and association retreats, and weddings.

Shangri-La’s visionary owner Eddy Gibbs has transformed the resort into the pride of Northeast Oklahoma and put the lakefront vacation oasis on the map nationally with an investment of more than $100 million into the property’s accommodations and upscale leisure amenities since taking it over in 2010.

Surrounded by the waters of Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees on three sides, the revered 27-hole championship Shangri-La golf course meanders through rolling parkland landscapes with elevated Bentgrass greens and clever bunkering along with more open, flowing fairways accented by ponds, streams and the breathtaking lakefront. The Legends ninth, “The Mickey Mantle Hole,” uniquely features two separate greens complexes and is named after the New York Yankees legend who hosted his Mickey Mantle Golf Classic charity tournament at Shangri-La and once holed an albatross on this iconic par five.

The Anchor indoor/outdoor activity park offers basketball, tennis, pickleball, cornhole, and a unique “Mini-Fenway” WIFFLE®Ball park, as well as a catch-and-release fishing pond for children under 12. The 11,000 square-foot indoor facility offers traditional arcade games, virtual reality games, a LaserShot shooting simulator, and Trackman Golf simulators. The popular Sports Bar at The Anchor features several sports screens, including two giant video walls, along with ping-pong, pool, shuffleboard, darts, and foosball.

The resort’s full-service marina offers permanent rental slips and courtesy docks for those who visit the resort by water and is replete with a ship store that even sells gasoline and diesel. Boat and personal watercraft rentals are available, along with yacht charters and Oklahoma’s only parasailing adventures.

About Crescent Hotels & Resorts Crescent Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, nationally recognized operator of hotels and resorts with over 120 properties in Canada and the United States. Crescent is one of the few elite management companies approved to operate upper-upscale and luxury hotels under the brand families of Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt. Crescent also operates a collection of independent and lifestyle properties under the Latitudes Collection umbrella. These properties include PGA National Resort, Horseshoe Bay Resort, and The Opus Westchester Autograph Collection. Powered by innovative, forward-thinking experts, Latitudes is a modern management platform for lifestyle hotels and resorts where creative concepts connect with modern travelers from urban boutique hotels to oceanside luxury resorts.

Crescent’s clients include premiere REITs, private equity firms and major developers. For more information, please visit and or connect with Crescent on LinkedIn.