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Kiowa Tribe plans to purchase Indian City landmark 5-9-07

ANADARKO, Okla. (AP) - The Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma announced plans to
purchase Indian City U.S.A. and its 200 acres of land.

The 53-year-old landmark south of Anadarko has been for sale for more
than a year.

“A business plan is being finalized and the property will be
converted from fee status to trust status,” Kiowa Business Committee
chairman Don Neconie said in a statement after Tuesday's announcement.

The theme park features seven Indian villages, each representing a
different local tribe's heritage. The site also includes a
campground, museum and lodge.

In its heyday, it was a popular tourist attraction for visitors from
all over the world, said Linda Poolaw, chair of the attraction's
board of directors.

In recent years, however, tourism at the site has waned, forcing what
Poolaw said will be a bittersweet sale. Poolaw said the details on
the sale haven't been completed.

Modina Waters, a Kiowa who worked with the tribe in the planning of
the purchase, said the tribe hopes to maintain and improve the
facility.

“Our future plans would include, first of all, planning for any type
of construction and then seeking the funding,” Waters said. “Right
now, the plan is to complete the purchase and take over the current
operation, and then later the planning group will work with the
appropriate parties to go forward.”

It would be the Kiowa Tribe's second recent foray into tourism in
southwest Oklahoma. The tribe's Kiowa Casino in Devol will open in
two weeks.

Poolaw said the tribe has been in talks with her board for the last
several months, but that several interested parties approached them
about purchasing Indian City.

“We were really looking for local buyers, preferably, but we
advertised nationally,” she said. “And personally, as chairman of
the board, I was really wanting to really, really let someone have it
that lives around here and grew up with it and loves it.”

She said the board could approve a contract at their next meeting,
scheduled for later this month.
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