Arkansas Industry Insider Newsletter

Greetings Industry Insiders,

Great news this morning! We've just learned that Diane LaFollett has been named the new executive director of the Mid-America Science Museum! Read the story below.

Many of you probably recall that Parks and Tourism’s 2013 Spring/Summer marketing plan was presented on video and approved by the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission in September.

We’ve decided to take the show on the road in the next few months to highlight the uniqueness of this new campaign -- and to showcase how important tourism is to the state’s economy. We’re already laying the groundwork for a strong spring and summer travel season. If you’d like us to speak to a group in your town, just let me know.

In this newsletter, you'll find information on how our website is faring, learn how to avoid guest service mistakes, check out our look inside the re-enactment of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Prairie Grove-and discover another way to reach your customers with Yuletide greetings, for free!

In the meantime, we’d like to wish everyone a happy holiday season!

Joe David Rice

The Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs names a new Executive Director

The Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs has named a new executive director: Diane LaFollette. Prior to the hiring, she served as chief operations officer of the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock.

She has worked in supervisory positions at the Little Rock museum since 1997, serving as director of the Arkansas Discovery Network and the museum's director of programming. Ms. LaFollette has a background in education and in nonprofit management. As director of the Discovery Network, she raised more than $10.3 million for the statewide network of seven museums.

"Her background in science education and museum operations was unmatched by any other candidate," Lance B. Garner, chairman of the MASM Board of Trustees, said. "She has 'on the ground' experience in re-creating a museum, which is exactly what MASM is undertaking. We expect that she will very much be able to move us to that next level in visitor experience and programming." #2 Most Visited State Tourism Website

Wonder how our website is doing? We’re proud to share that is one of the most searched out and viewed websites in the country. Aristotle Interactive provides this overview of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism’s internet efforts here.

What does that mean for your business? Of the average 500,000 visitor sessions recorded each month at, 100,000 of those sessions continue on to partner sites. Utilize listings on and our Deals and Coupons offerings to help boost traffic to your website!

Oops! 10 Guest Service Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Is your business guilty of making the most common customer service mistakes? Find out in this article.

Share The Holiday Spirit With Your Clients- for FREE!

Looking for a quick and economical way to reach out to your guests and customers? Head on over to our Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights website and utilize our Holiday E-Card Builder!

Choose one of the many images from our library, or upload one of your own. Add a custom message, type in the email addresses of those you wish to receive your greetings, and press Send Card. Within moments a missive of holiday cheer will arrive in the inboxes of those you selected. And it's absolutely free!

While you're on the website, check out the photos visitors are posting via Instagram using the #ArkLights hashtag. Share the holiday joy!

Insider Sneak Peek: Latest Photo and Video Shoot

Here are a few sneak peeks from the December 1 and 2 re-enactment commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Prairie Grove. The State Park had 25,000 visitors turn out during the course of the two-day anniversary event, bringing in nearly $40,000 in revenue. Past visitation numbers average around 5,000.

Footage from the shoot will be used in future video, print and online campaigns.

View the video and the photos here.

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