Arkansas Industry Insider Newsletter
Greetings Industry Insiders!

Thanks to everyone who participated in National Tourism Week festivities last week. Communities across the state celebrated tourism in a variety of ways. To name a few: Batesville grilled burgers in the park, Lake Village had Arkansas-themed giveaways and North Little Rock celebrated the $400 million visitors spent there in 2012 by handing out refreshments and thank you cards at the Visitor Information Center.

Here at the end of spring, we may finally have seen our last bout of winter-like weather! With Memorial Day around the corner, water parks are opening and campsites are filling up – just as Arkansas’s advertising push kicks off. It’s a good time to evaluate the state of your property, and to knock out a little spring cleaning.

On Thursday, we’ll celebrate the dedication of the Mississippi River State Park near Marianna – another in a long list of attractions popping up all over the Natural State.

Joe David Rice

Anthony Chapel Makes BuzzFeed’s List of Top Places to Get Married

The impressive Maurice Jennings designed edifice at Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs is one of 22 locations named as the “Coolest Places to Get Married in America” by the popular news and sharing site BuzzFeed on May 6th. Click here to view the list!

Mississippi River State Park Event Thursday

A dedication ceremony for Mississippi River State Park near Marianna is scheduled for Thursday. The event will also mark the grand opening of the park’s visitor center.

The ceremony will include remarks from Cindy Smith of McGehee, chairman of the State Parks Recreation and Travel Commission; Richard Davies, executive director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism; Greg Butts, director of Arkansas State Parks and others.

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn makes Top 50 U.S. Bed-and-Breakfasts

Across the country, bed-and-breakfasts can take many forms, but the one thing that really makes for an amazing experience is the food that is being served. At the center of a B&B is the idea of a heart- and belly-warming breakfast to start the day off right. As "breakfast" is half the B&B experience, cuisine is one very important way for an innkeeper to demonstrate a warm and stable atmosphere.

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn, located in Hot Springs, overlooks Lake Hamilton. All guest rooms have lake views and the B&B is completely eco-friendly, as it was constructed with eco-friendly materials including double-pane windows and excellent insulation. Not to be missed during your stay are Chocolate-Covered Wednesdays, where breakfast kicks off with an Arkansas specialty: biscuits topped with chocolate gravy. Click here to view the article.

Mark Twain Riverboat Now Calls the Arkansas River Home

The Mark Twain Riverboat is now docked on the north side of the Arkansas River, ready to ply the historic river. An authentic stern wheeler, the boat offers formal or casual dining for day or evening, and a bar with full view windows on the Main Deck. The Mark Twain is one of the few authentic paddle wheel boats in existence. The first deck is climate-controlled for year-round cruising while the second deck is open-air. The boat is available for private charters and cruises.

Also new on the Arkansas River in North Little Rock is the Sandbar on Riverfront, where you can enjoy both indoor and outdoor top deck seating. A variety of beverages and finger foods are offered. Dockside public dinners are available with advance reservations.

Contact the Dam Riverboat Company, LLC., 100 Riverfront Park Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72114. 501-372-5777 or Click here to view the website.

Prepare for Busy Summer Season: Spring Cleaning Ideas

• Repair or remove torn awnings, fix broken windows and broken signs
• A fresh coat of paint can work wonders
• If you have a window display, keep it interesting by changing it monthly
• Plant flowers
• Go a step further and get the whole community involved in a downtown cleanup

Customer Service on Facebook

Zappos, the online retail site that’s grown from selling shoes to so much more, is known for its customer service. In fact, its mission is “to provide the best customer service possible.”

And the company has upheld its quest beyond its Web page. Visit the Hospitality Hot Tips blog  to see how the brand carries its customer-centric, and at times spunky, personality over to Facebook.

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