March 9-11 Marks 40th Meeting of Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism
3/6/2014 5:08:00 PM
March 9-11 Marks 40th Meeting of Arkansas Governor’s Conference on TourismSong of Arkansas winner and runner-up to perform
Make plans to attend the 40th annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism, to be held at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers March 9-11.
Among this year’s speakers – actor, producer and travel writer Andrew McCarthy; wayfinding expert Jan Carpman; former Hard Rock International motivator Jim Knight; Arkansas Film Commissioner Christopher Crane; tourism trends specialist Lynette Xanders; professional media relations liaison Debbie Geiger; social media expert Crystal Washington; Arkansas Highway and Transportation director Scott Bennett; and University of Arkansas Head Football Coach Bret Bielema.
The annual gathering of more than 500 members of Arkansas’s tourism industry offers sessions in a variety of topics ranging from better practices in bringing travelers to Arkansas, refining a social media image and creating a storytelling experience for communities and attractions.
The presentation of the upcoming state tourism media marketing campaign will also be shared.
The winner of the Song of Arkansas contest, singer Barrett Baber, will perform Monday afternoon in a special presentation. The song he co-wrote with Kenny Lamb, “A.R.K.A.N.S.A.S. (Get There From Here)” took the top spot in the contest. The first runner-up, Blane Howard, will be on hand at lunch Monday to perform “Arkansas Y’all.”
Due to last minute personal reasons, Joe Nichols will be unable to attend this year’s Governor’s Conference as previously planned. However, he has been kind enough to provide an exciting item for the Monday evening Arkansas Tourism Development Foundation auction. Other items up for bid include:
- A Serenity Spa Package valued at $559 from Eureka Springs’ Basin Park Hotel
- A $700 Stay and Play Getaway provided by the Bella Vista Property Owner’s Association
- A $660 Buffalo National River package from Buffalo Camping and Canoeing
- A $1500 “Live The Suite Life” two night pampering package from the Embassy Suites Rogers
- Three live Japanese maple trees from Garvan Woodland Gardens
- An Arkansas chef-prepared private dinner for eight worth $1500
- An “Extraordinary Escape” package from Eureka Springs valued at $1150
- A golf outing at Holiday Island for 12
- A chicken coop from the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotions Committee
- A 12 pound ham from the Big Springs Trading Company at St. Joe
Additionally, all tips collected at beverage stations during the auction will go to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute/Breast Cancer Research Project.
The theme of this year’s event, “Creating Partnerships, Building Business” emphasizes the need for cooperation and coordination within Arkansas’s tourism industry to bring more guests into the state.
Tickets for the event are still available online at Arkansas.com/governors-conference. For question, contact Erik Holbrooks at 501-682-1088 or email email@example.com.
Discounted Early Registration Rate for 2014 Governor's Conference Extended to February 28
2/21/2014 9:30:00 AM
Greetings Industry Insiders!
What a great Governor’s Conference we have planned! It’s time to reserve your space at Arkansas’s premier tourism event. Registration is open for the 40th Annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism, which will be held at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers. This year’s conference will shine a spotlight on the hottest topics in our industry, including marketing, storytelling, wayfinding and the art of social media.
This year’s event will be bigger and better than ever. We’ve got some top notch speakers including actor, producer and travel writer Andrew McCarthy. Lynette Xanders’ insights into numbers and research will give us some clear ideas on where we’re going and what we should be doing to bring more visitors to The Natural State. Jim Knight of Hard Rock Café fame will share how we can really rock our worlds with service and culture.
You’ll be able to learn about making social media viral with Crystal Washington and the importance of telling the stories of a community with our local experts. And Jan Carpman will help us find the way to better signage and waymarking to get people to our great attractions. Arkansas Razorback Head Football Coach Bielema will share what it’s like being a new transplant to the state.
Register online today! Early registration ends Friday, February 28, so time is limited. Don’t forget to register at your preferred hotel as well.
You’ll also be able to bid on numerous items at the Arkansas Tourism Development Foundation Auction, including a dinner with country music star and Rogers native, Joe Nichols.
Arkansas's on a Roll
1/15/2014 8:52:00 AM
Greeting Industry Insiders!
Now that 2014 is well underway, it’s time to push up our sleeves and work harder than ever to make this the best year yet for Arkansas tourism.
Our cities and towns are receiving well-deserved notice. Little Rock has just been named America’s most livable city by MSN (The Microsoft Network) – and one of Forbes Travel Guide’s “Five Secret Foodie Cities.” Fort Smith received another award from True West Magazine, and Eureka Springs has been named home of one of America’s best Main Streets. The accomplishments of these three communities are just a sampling of the many incredible efforts across the state to promote tourism and make Arkansas successful.
Are you looking for ways to make your community more successful? Or do you want to find out how to really make your business shine? Reserve your spot at the 40th Annual Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism. The premier tourism event in the state will be held March 9-11 at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers. You'll find details here.
Joe David Rice
Little Rock Named “Most Livable City” in America, “Secret Foodie City”
Arkansas’s capital city tops MSN (The Microsoft Network) Real Estate’s list of its “10 Most Livable Cities” in America. Close runners-up included Anchorage, Alaska, Columbia, S. C. and Santa Fe, N. M. Little Rock’s ranking is attributed to its superior location, atmosphere and “community feel.” MSN bases its decision on factors such as population, unemployment rate, cost of living and what locals love.
Meanwhile, Forbes Travel Guide has also recognized Little Rock as one of “Five Secret Foodie Cities” on its popular travel blog. The others featured are Minneapolis, Minn., Columbus, Ohio, Ashville, N.C. and Boulder, Colo. Each was cited as a destination worth a “second look this year” for food lovers.
Fort Smith Receives Award from True West
Fort Smith continues to be recognized by True West Magazine. In 2013 it was named as the #1 Top True Western Town. The publication has also selected it as the number five Top True Western Town for 2014. Recently yet another honor came from True West Magazine’s 2014 issue of Best of the West. The magazine bestowed the “Best Promotion of a Historical Place” award upon the city to recognize the ways in which it used its designation as the 2013 Top True Western Town to promote Fort Smith.
Eureka Springs Home to One of America’s Greatest Main Streets
Travel and Leisure Magazine declares the streets of Eureka Springs worthy of inclusion as one of America’s Greatest Main Streets. The well-known magazine mentions the town for its twists, turns and Victorian charm, as well as its overall listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Two Arkansas Spas Named To Top 100 Spas List
Healthy Living and Travel highlighted two spas in Arkansas that were named by Spas of America to their list of Top 100 Spas of 2013. Turtle Cove Spa at Mountain Harbor Resort near Mount Ida is #12 on the list, while the Arlington Hotel and Resort in Hot Springs comes in at #66. The list includes spas from the United States, Canada and Mexico.
New Signs to Promote Walnut Ridge Tourism
Four new signs will be erected in northeast Arkansas this spring to promote musical tourism in the Walnut Ridge area, where early rock ‘n’ roll musicians such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Arkansas-born Johnny Cash played at clubs and honky-tonks in the 1950s.
The signs, valued at $20,000, are shaped like an amplifier and a guitar to represent the area’s rich musical heritage.
Motorcycle Deals added to “Deals and Coupons” on Arkansas.com
Are you offering a package specifically aimed at the motorcycle traveler? Add your special to our Deals and Coupons section of Arkansas.com – right alongside all the great offerings for cozy cabins, family getaways and romantic weekends. Just log in here and create a deal. A new checkbox is available; just make sure to click that box.
Claim Your Stake in The Natural State at the 40th Annual Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism
1/14/2014 8:47:00 AM
Claim Your Stake in The Natural State at the 40th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism
It’s time to reserve your space at the state’s premier tourism event. Registration is now open for the 40th Annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism. This year’s symposium at the John Q. Hammond Center in Rogers shines a spotlight on the hottest topics in our industry, including marketing, storytelling, wayfinding and the art of social media - with special opening keynote speaker Andrew McCarthy, famed actor-travel writer-director, and closing keynote speaker Bret Bielema, head football coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Register online today! Click through here to secure your spot at the conference, make a donation to the Tourism Foundation auction, preview the Conference event and find out what our host city of Rogers has to offer.
Don’t forget to register at your preferred hotel as well. The following properties are offering special rates for the conference. Be sure to mention the conference rate when you call.
Embassy Suites (connected to the John Q. Hammonds Center)
3303 Pinnacle Hills Parkway; (479) 254-8400
$129 per night
1103 S. 52nd Street; (479) 268-6799
$134 per night
Holiday Inn & Suites
1803 S. 52nd Street; (479) 845-1300
$119 per night
Time to Celebrate
12/23/2013 4:08:00 PM
Greetings Industry Insiders!
You might be busy catching your breath during this fast-paced holiday season, but I’ll bet the good news below will give a needed energy boost. From the historic River Lights in the Rock event to announcements of Henry Awards nominees, we’ll all have additional causes to celebrate this season.
Enjoy your reading, and happy holidays!
Joe David Rice
Henry Awards Finalists Announced
Finalists have been announced for the Henry Awards, which recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to Arkansas’s tourism industry. View a complete list here.
The awards will be presented on March 11, 2014, at the 40th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism in the John Q. Hammonds Convention Center in Rogers.
For additional information regarding the 40th Annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism, please contact the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism at (501) 682-1088. Questions regarding the Henry Awards can be directed to Kristine Puckett or Jessica Ledbetter at (501) 682-5240.
Bridge Lighting Electrifies Little Rock
On Thursday, Dec. 19, Little Rock drew holiday crowds with its $2.4 million River Lights in the Rock celebration, a historic event that marked the illumination of the Main Street, Junction and Clinton Presidential Park bridges.
The project was made possible by a $2 million gift from Entergy Arkansas, along with support from the William J. Clinton Foundation, the Pulaski County Bridge Authority, Philips Lighting, Koontz Electric, the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock and the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Texan Wins Choose Your Escape Contest
The winner of the Department’s Choose Your Escape contest is Teri Jordan of Dallas, Texas. Teri will receive a $1,500 vacation to the Natural State destination (or destinations) of her choice.
Teri has roots in Arkansas and is a big fan of the mountain scenery. She selected a beautiful fall mountain drive point-of-view video when she entered the contest to represent her idea of the perfect escape to Arkansas.
The runner-up in the Choose Your Escape contest was Evone Roberts of Jonesboro, Ark. Evone will receive $500 to use toward making her dream Arkansas getaway come true. For her contest entry, she chose the “aerial adventure” point-of-view video from Horseshoe Canyon Ranch as the best representation of her ideal Arkansas escape.
Voters Approve Robinson Renovation
Little Rock voters approved a plan recently to dedicate a portion of the city's restaurant and hotel tax to repay bonds for up to $73.5 million in renovations to Robinson Center Music Hall.
The project will expand the 1939 building from 133,500 square feet to 138,000 square feet. Performance space will also be reconfigured to create two tiers of balcony seating, dropping seating capacity to 2,120 from 2,600. Completion is scheduled for 2016.
Crystal Bridges Plans Anniversary Show
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art recently revealed plans for a major exhibition of contemporary art next fall. Plans for the exhibition were announced on Nov. 11, the day the museum celebrated its second anniversary.
The exhibition will run from Sept. 13, 2014 to Jan. 5, 2015, and contain pieces by more than 100 artists. The works were selected after curators visited more than 400 studios across America.
Agriculture Dept. Announces Grant Program
The Arkansas Agriculture Department will administer $45,000 in one-time funding to the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission for annual Arkansas festivals that feature an agricultural or forestry product or theme.
Applications are available here and will be accepted through Jan. 24, 2014.