Man turns getaway spot into go-to wedding location

SAND SPRINGS - One man was all about retirement until he decided to open his getaway spot to visitors.

2 Works for You anchor Scott Thompson met up with Tom Warren - who said his decision has put a smile on many bride's faces.

Tom's ranch has become a popular spot for weddings, and adventure outings, and even drew a former Beatle.

When he bought it 18 years ago, Warren figured this place would be his retirement spot.

A place to get away from it all, yet not far from the amenities and attractions of Sand Springs and Tulsa.

"One of my friends said 'hey, you ought to make this a bed and breakfast,'" Warren said. "Well, a little light came on and I said well that'll offset my diesel bills so we put up a sign and built a website and started renting out the cabins. It went so well we did more and then we started doing weddings and company picnics and it's turned into a real business."

But after a while, he figured others might enjoy sharing the same views that captured he and his wife, Sue Lynn.

The centerpiece of the place is the big lake that sits at its center.

It's an old quarry whose rock was taken out for the construction of Keystone Dam.

Filled with water, it's become a really good spot to nab trophy bass.

And Warren added cabins alongside for bed and breakfast stays.

Visitors from all over the world have stopped by, all 50 states and 43 countries have been accounted for.

Even Paul McCartney stayed here while he was on a secret trip along Route 66 ten years ago, celebrating his 66th birthday.

The cabin's named for him now.

"I will tell you, he's a sweet and wonderful guy, very gentle soul, he doesn't shake hands, he hugs, everybody gets a hug," Warren said.

The wedding and wedding reception business has taken off.

Arbors and patios and indoor event spaces make that possible.

And then the place can be turned around and become a dude ranch, with fishing and hiking and archery.

You can learn to rope hay bale steers and throw tomahawks.

You can become a dude for a day, or make your wedding a rustic one.

"A lot of the down-home kind of weddings, the informal weddings, include the dude ranch activities with 'em," Warren said. "We have a shooting range in the back about a half-mile in the back of the ranch, and then we teach people to throw tomahawks, shoot bows and arrows, we teach 'em to throw knives."

There are more than 350 acres of forest and meadows in all.

Warren imagined he'd keep them all to himself.

Now he can't imagine the place without all his visitors.

"We get to share this with Oklahoma," Warren said. "Now people come in from all over and they get to see a little bit of Oklahoma and fish in the lake and hike the trails and see the animals. It's just a lot of fun."

Find out more at meadowlakeranch.com.

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