Arkansas Industry Insider Newsletter

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. 

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