Tourism rocks.NOT SINCE ELECTION NIGHT 1996 or the night before the dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library had I experienced the full-blown excitement of being in downtown Little Rock on a Saturday.
Maybe excitement is too strong a word. As a supporter of tourism growth in Little Rock and the rest of the state, I was quite pleased with some of the results I was seeing.
My particular reason for hanging out downtown on a weekend was the fact that Little Rock Family, one of Arkansas Business Publishing Group's many niche titles, was hosting the Parenting Publications of America annual conference. About 200 publishers and editors from throughout the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , Canada and Australia were in town.
The rest of the activity included:
* Little Rock Marathon The Little Rock Marathon, started in 2003, is an annual marathon held in Little Rock, Arkansas. The event is intended to encourage better health and fitness and to raise funds for Little Rock Parks & Recreation. events;
* The Tough Man competition;
* The Rascal Flatts Rascal Flatts (IPA: /ˈræskəl ˈflæts/) is an American country pop band formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 2000. concert at Alltel Arena Alltel Arena is an 18,000-seat multi-purpose arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas, directly across the Arkansas River from downtown Little Rock. The arena opened in October 1999. ; and
* The "Carnival" fundraising event for the Arkansas Arts Center One of the leading cultural institutions in the state, the Arkansas Arts Center is located on the corner of 9th and Commerce streets in MacArthur Park, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. .
Hotels were full. Restaurants and bars were hopping. The Clinton Presidential Library had a high volume of visitors. Heck, even the trolleys were frequently full of people. People were everywhere and generally seemed happy. I should also mention it was 72 degrees and sunny--just a glorious day.
In just two weeks, the NCAA Tournament NCAA Tournament can mean:
These kinds of weekends will help central Arkansas weather the economic slowdown. All these visitors are spending money in hotels, restaurants and retail stores.
The reviews of Little Rock and Arkansas from attendees of the PPA PPA 1. Palpation, Percussion & Ausculation 2. Pittsburgh pneumonia agent 3. Postpartum amenorrhea 4. Price per accession 5. Pure pulmonary atresia conference were very similar to what we heard when we hosted the Alliance of Area Business Publications in 2006.
Most of them had never visited the state, and the experience far exceeded their expectations. They raved about the quality and diversity of the restaurants--some dish at the Copper Grill was so good a group went back a following night for dinner there. The Clinton Library visit was the most popular event, and the miniature White House exhibit that's on display right now (you've got to get by there to see it) was a bonus.
The Peabody Hotel facility is a jewel, and some stayed at or visited The Capital Hotel across the street and marveled at its renovation and quality as well.
Tourism leaders from across Arkansas will gather in Rogers this week to review the state of the industry at the Governor's Conference on Tourism. I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. what the numbers will say regarding last year's tourism activity, but I continue to think we have multiple tourist destinations and attractions in place to be very competitive for travel dollars and provide memorable tourist experiences.
E-mail Jeff Hankins at jhankins@abpg.