Pair invest in Discoveryland assets, strategy to make it into function center

SAND SPRINGS — Jason and Kayla Shipman know they belong to the land, and the land they belong to is grand. 

It is referred to as Discoveryland. 

For a long time, this 525-acre parcel in northeast Oklahoma was famously property to the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma!” 

Jason Shipman poses for a portrait in the outdoor amphitheater at Discoveryland on July 8.

The production’s closing curtain get in touch with arrived close to a decade ago. Now, as the pair work to reinvent the previous outside enjoyment location into a multi-use party facility, there’s a glimmer of hope the musical winds may possibly occur sweeping down the plains the moment once again. 

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The Shipmans ordered the previous Discoveryland home in 2019 and say they are making it into a desired destination for functions and, yes, musical performances. 

Discoveryland actors and singers done the Broadway output for a lot more than 30 decades starting up in the 1970s. The present was on the amphitheater phase each night in the summer time other than Sundays. People today from around the planet watched it, and in the 1990s, it grew to become recognised as the production’s official countrywide residence. 

A musical performance at the former Discoveryland Amphitheater near Sand Springs is shown in this undated photo.

The last curtain connect with

The remaining functionality at Discoveryland was in 2011. In 2012, homeowners cited high temperatures and lower attendance as motives for halting the demonstrate. They formally closed the residence in 2014. 

The facility transformed hands just before the Shipmans bought it. By the time they arrived along, the house was in disrepair, Jason Shipman reported. Copper wiring had been stripped from properties, and structures experienced been vandalized. Properties required important repairs.

In Shipman’s phrases: “Almost everything was slipping aside.”

“It was in shambles,” Shipman reported. “It’s heading to keep on to be a good deal of do the job, but we imagine we can get it again to a area that persons in the local community in Sand Springs and west Tulsa are happy of.” 

This file photo show a full Discoveryland Amphitheater in its heyday in the 1970s.

A new commencing

When building is complete, the home will have an function heart for weddings, meetings, company activities and other capabilities, Shipman reported. The park’s amphitheater, which for decades hosted the Quicker State’s namesake musical, will have new seating, lighting and seem methods. 

They’ve also put a new roof on and made other repairs to a large pavilion formerly utilized for picnics.

Shipman claimed the pair hope to wrap up building by the year’s conclude and open up the facility at some place in 2022.

He declined to say particularly how considerably income the couple have inves
ted in the house.

Jason Shipman explains building plans for a new event center building at Discoveryland on July 8.

“It’s priceless,” he said with a laugh.

The Shipmans live on the residence and have renamed it Discoveryland Ranch because they raise livestock — together with horses, which have a exclusive position in Kayla Shipman’s heart.  

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She visited Discoveryland normally when she was a kid and said she remembers park personnel on horseback greeting men and women as they walked into the park.