James N. Ratcliff, First National Bank chairman presented the award to Gibbs before a crowd of around 130 politicians, dignitaries, educators and business owners.

MONKEY ISLAND – Eddy Gibbs, Shangri-La Golf Club, Resort and Marina owner, was honored Friday, May 11 at First National Bank of Vinita and Grove Excellence in Business Award ceremony.

“This award doesn’t have anything to do with me,” Gibbs said. “Family is everything.”

James N. Ratcliff, First National Bank chairman presented the award to Gibbs before a crowd of around 130 politicians, dignitaries, educators and business owners. This is the second year the bank had honored an individual who has made a positive financial impact on northeast Oklahoma.

Modestly Gibbs said he didn’t deserve the award and consistently deflected praise to his management team.

“When we started we had 80 employees,” Gibbs during the 20-minute speech. “Now we have 220 employees.”

Gibbs maintains his pledge to support the employees during the off-season months, which draws from an employment pool of Craig, Ottawa and Delaware counties.

“We aren’t going to lay-off people in November,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs did not intend to build a resort dynasty on the Grand Lake shoreline when he first set foot on the ground.

For decades, Shangri-La Resort was known as the crown jewel of Grand Lake. The famed resort fell on hard times and was being demolished until Gibbs, in 2010, invested $65 million, which brought new luster to a prized jewel.

Shangri-La officials believe the economic impact of the resort hits around the $100 million mark per year.

“Shangri-La is debt free and will always will be,” Gibbs said to a thunderous applause.

The resort has one of the top five golf courses and is considered one of Oklahoma's premier golf courses and one of the largest pools and splash pads in the state, which can hold 500 water lovers.

“This is a family-oriented resort,” Gibbs said. “We want kids and golfers.”

Paraphrasing a 2016-election campaign slogan, Gibbs told the crowd, “You guys are making northeast Oklahoma great again.”

”We just want to support the community,” Gibbs said.

Shangri-La Golf Club, Resort, and Marina is located at the tip of Monkey Island on Grand Lake about 82 miles north of Tulsa.