Arkansas Industry Insider Newsletter

STS Top 20 Events List Deadline Approaching

The Southeast Tourism Society (STS) deadline for the Fall 2012 list of Top 20 events is April 6. Through a nomination process, STS chooses the Top 20 events in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Arkansas for each month of the year and publishes a list of winners quarterly.

The Top 20 Events publication is sent to more than 1,600 newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, AAA publications and others. To be eligible, an event must be at least three years old and have an attendance of at least 1,000.

For more information and to nominate an event that occurs in October, November or December click here.

New Executive Chef Joins Arlington Hotel

Heather Welch has been hired as the new executive chef for the Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa in Hot Springs. Welch comes to the Arlington from the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain, where she held the same title for the past five years. Prior to working at the Rockefeller Institute, she was the executive chef and general manager of Little Rock restaurant Lulav. She has also worked as the sous chef at Aristi’s in Memphis.

Arkansas Properties and Restaurants Earn AAA Four Diamond Awards

Two restaurants and four lodging properties in Arkansas have earned AAA’s Four Diamond Award for 2012. Four Diamond winners are chosen for consistently delivering premier experiences, complete with superior personal assistance, first-class amenities and impressive service.

Arkansas’s Four Diamond accommodations include:

Restaurants are:

Wiedower Recognized by Southern Living

Southern Living recently announced its 2012 Heroes of the New South. The magazine’s panel selected Beth Wiedower of West Memphis as an honorable mention in the architecture category.

She was named for her work with the Arkansas Delta Rural Heritage Development Initiative. The initiative rehabilitates rural towns through restoration of significant structures, such as the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home

Williams Named Tourism Person of the Year

At the 12th annual Delta Awards, Kim Williams was named Tourism Person of the Year. Williams was recognized for her work as a travel writer in eastern Arkansas.

The event was sponsored by Arkansas Delta Byways, with support from the Greater Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce and the Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission. Delta Byways counties include Arkansas, Chicot, Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Desha, Drew, Greene, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett and St. Francis.

Other winners include:

  • Media Support Award: SEA Life Magazine
  • Hospitality Award: Osceola-SMC Chamber of Commerce
  • Entrepreneur Award: Quapaw Canoe Company
  • Tourism Support Award: Miller’s Mud Mill  
  • Festival/Event of the Year: Arkansas River Revival Flotilla
  • Boot Strap Award: Delta Gateway Museum
  • Promotional Award: Gladlands
  • Outstanding Member Award: Paula Miles
  • Cultural Heritage Award: Parker Pioneer Homestead

Ashley’s Chef Lee Named James Beard Semifinalist

The James Beard Foundation recently announced semifinalists for the 2012 Restaurant and Chefs Awards. Lee Richardson, executive chef of Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, made the list for Best Chef in the South.

The foundation will announce finalists March 19. Visit the JBF blog for more information.

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