We're thrilled about all this good news!
11/25/2013 11:52:00 AM
Greetings Industry Insiders!
You’ve probably noticed that The Natural State is buzzing with activity these days. Major destinations and attractions are expanding, renovating, and drawing attention in every corner of the state. Arkansas is really putting its best foot forward, and the tourism industry is taking note. I invite you to read the news below to see what I mean.
Joe David Rice
Eureka Springs Named One of America’s Favorite Small Towns
Eureka Springs’ historic origins, artistic flare and Southern hospitality have been recognized by a major travel magazine as a can’t-miss destination! The north Arkansas community garnered well-deserved attention by being named to Travel and Leisure’s list of “America’s Favorite Small Towns.”
Hemingway-Pfeiffer Project Receives Funding
Great news for the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center. Earlier this month, State Sen. Robert Thompson of Paragould presented a check for $100,000 to Arkansas State University officials for improvements to the place where Ernest Hemingway wrote a portion of A Farewell to Arms. The funds will be used to expand the educational facility at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer site and meet immediate programming needs.
Museum Unveils Renovation Plans
The face of Hot Springs’s Mid-America Science Museum will soon change. The popular attraction has announced new designs for a $7.8 million renovation for its building and exhibits to begin next summer. Funds from a 2011 grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and additional money from the Oaklawn Foundation will be used to build a skywalk connecting the main building with the forest canopy that surrounds it, build a digital dome theater and install new exhibits. The project’s completion is projected for March 2015.
Fort Smith River Trail Receives $1 Million
The city recently named the top True Western Town in America by True Grit Magazine will soon be home to a new trail. The Fort Smith Parks and Recreation Department has received a $1 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation. The contribution will be used to build a two-mile exercise trail along the city’s riverfront and is part of a large-scale effort to transform the area into a commercial and tourism district. Development along the riverfront has been a focus since 2007, when Fort Smith became the chosen location for the planned U.S. Marshals Museum.
ADPT’s David Flake Recognized by American Heart Association
David Flake, Human Resources Director for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism (ADPT), has received the Ken Gilbert Volunteer of the Year Award from the Central Arkansas Division of the American Heart Association (AHA). David has participated as a Heart Walk Team leader for nine years with ADPT (the team name is the Natural State Walkers) collectively raising over $25,000 for the American Heart Association.
Rejuvenation Tour: Arkansas's 2014 Tourism Campaign
10/23/2013 3:38:00 PM
By now, you may have heard about the new approach we're taking to bring more visitors to Arkansas. Over the past few months, the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism along with Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods and Aristotle, Inc. have collaborated on a brand new marketing plan aimed at catering to the whims and needs of specific visitors from our feeder markets. The developed plan centers on the ideas of relaxation and rejuvenation, and how to attract regional travelers to specific hubs and corridors of activity along their journey paths.
Of course, a plan as good as this shouldn't be kept a secret -- so we're bringing it to you. Come join us and learn how we're going to shake up our state by sharing with our future guests ways they can relax in the Natural State.
These eight meetings have been set up throughout the regions -- if you can't attend the one in your area, feel free to join us at any of the other seven locations.Tuesday; October 29
9:00 a.m.: West Central and River Valley Arkansas PresentationFort Smith Convention Center, Room 107
(park in Wheeler Lot behind theater)
55 South 7th Tuesday; October 29
-- 2:00 p.m.: Northwest Arkansas PresentationRogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, Baggett-Trammel Room
317 West Walnut
Wednesday; October 30
-- 9:00 a.m.: North Central Arkansas PresentationASU Campus, Mountain Home; Dryer Hall, McMullin Lecture Hall (2nd Floor)
1600 South College StreetWednesday; October 30
-- 3:00 p.m.; Northeast Arkansas PresentationJonesboro Chamber of Commerce
1709 East NettletonTuesday; November 5
-- 9:00 a.m.: Central Arkansas PresentationLittle Rock; Statehouse Convention Center, Pope Room
101 East Markham StreetTuesday; November 5
-- 2:00 p.m.: Ouachita Area PresentationHot Springs Convention Center, Room 104
134 Convention Blvd. Wednesday; November 6
-- 9:00 a.m.: Southwest Arkansas PresentationMagnolia Chamber of Commerce
211 West Main StreetWednesday; November 6
-- 3:00 p.m.: Southeast Arkansas PresentationDumas Community Center
18 Belmont Street
Important information will be delivered at these meetings -- along with tips on broadening your depth on the internet and advice on how you can fully participate in our project. We'll also be sharing this presentation on our Arkansas Industry Insider page for those who can't come -- but if you don't attend, you'll miss out on good contacts, a fun presentation and great door prizes!
I'll see you on the road!
Joe David Rice
Arkansas Tourism Director
New Look, New Concept: The 2014 Arkansas Spring/Summer Marketing and Advertising Plan.
9/16/2013 5:04:00 PM
Make plans to attend the must-see presentation of the year. Join fellow industry members and get the scoop on an innovative new campaign that focuses on targeted marketing to bring more visitors to The Natural State -- with the 2014 Spring/Summer Marketing and Advertising Plan.
Over the past few months, the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods and Aristotle, Inc. have collaborated on a new approach, aimed at catering to the whims and needs of specific visitors from our feeder markets. The developed plan that will be presented to the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission centers on the ideas of relaxation and rejuvenation, and how to attract regional travelers to specific hubs and corridors of activity along their journey paths.
The big show is Thursday, September 19th at 8:30 a.m. at the Wally Allen Ballroom in the Statehouse Convention Center -- during the Arkansas Hospitality Association Trade Show. Come early to save your seat.
Fishing for a Top Spot in Arkansas
7/15/2013 9:55:00 AM
Greetings Industry Insiders,
Summertime brings a host of visitors into The Natural State. How can you lure them to your property? We’re casting out some excellent advice in this message.
TripAdvisor is the largest travel site in the world. Whether or not you’ve accessed it, your property is probably on it. We’ll share how to hook consumers with this valuable tool, and the best way to capture good rankings.
Is your community trying to reel in a little financial help? Look below to discover how to net your town up to $15,000 in matching grant funds. We’ll also wade into how to make sure a customer service goof doesn’t turn into the one that got away.
Hope you enjoy the messages we’re floating your way this Industry Insider newsletter!
Joe David Rice
Making TripAdvisor Work for You
Do you encourage your customers to utilize TripAdvisor? The world’s largest travel site has more than 200 million unique monthly visitors. Many smaller operations live and breathe on reviews posted by those users.
How do you make sure you stay at the top of those ratings? And what do you do if someone says something unpleasant about your business? We cover everything you need to know to make your property shine in this handy article.
Looking into Tourism Development? We Can Help.
Parks and Tourism is accepting applications for one-to-one matching feasibility study grants now through Friday, July 26. The tourism feasibility study grant program is designed to assist communities in Arkansas with feasibility studies pertaining to tourism attraction projects.
Grants fund research that determines the possibility and potentiality of a specific tourism attraction within city or county boundaries.
Applicants may request up to $15,000 in reimbursable matching funds. Only incorporated cities and counties can apply; individuals, chambers of commerce, nonprofits, private industry, etc. are not eligible. For additional information, call the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism at 501-682-5240 or email Kristine Puckett.
Five Techniques to Resolve Guest Service Mistakes
We all make mistakes. In the hospitality industry, we like to look at a customer service goof-up as an opportunity to make things right – and to win points with our guests along the way. Visit arhospitalitytips.com for five tips to keep in mind for the next time you owe a guest an apology.
National Geographic Magazine names Mountain View one of America’s 100 best adventure towns.
TripAdvisor names Heber Springs’ Cardboard Boat Races one of 10 top wacky summer activities.
Holiday Springs Water Park opens in Texarkana.
Kentucky man discovers 2.95 brown diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Select Registry Adds Inn at Rose Hall to Portfolio
Prestigious Select Registry includes another Eureka Springs property in its compendium of celebrated bed and breakfast locations across North America. The Inn at Rose Hall is now one of just 350 such properties chosen for the designation.
The inn’s five guestrooms sport Victorian décor, fireplaces, two-person jetted tubs and beds wrapped in luxurious linens with a choice of pillows. Guests enjoy sherry, fresh fruit, flowers, homemade cookies and gourmet breakfasts served daily in the Morning Room.
Other Select Registry inns in Arkansas include: Arsenic and Old Lace B&B, also in Eureka Springs and Lookout Point Lakeside Inn and Hilltop Manor Bed & Breakfast, both in Hot Springs. You can view the new listing for Inn at Rose Hall here.
New Commander Oversees Little Rock Waterways
Col. Courtney W. Paul has assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District. He replaces Col. Glen Masset, who is retiring after 31 years in the U.S. Army.
Little Rock District is responsible for a $390 million program in fiscal year 2013. It is responsible for maintaining the Arkansas River and other waterways, including 13 locks and dams, 12 multi-purpose lakes, seven hydroelectric power plants and more than a half million acres of public lands and water.
Paul came to Little Rock District from Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he was Director, Capabilities Development and Integration, Maneuver Support Division of Excellence.
More information about the Corps’ Little Rock District is online, on Facebook and on Twitter.