2018 Conference Events

Sunday, March 11


Sponsored by West Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau
Due to flooding on the Mississippi River, the Big River Crossing excursion scheduled for Sunday, March 11, will no longer take place. Instead, we will celebrate at Great River Lodge, a luxury facility on 40 acres between The Great River Road and the Mississippi River. Refreshments will include light hors d'oeuvres with punch and tea. Blues musician Kenneth Jackson will provide the afternoon’s entertainment.

Those who did not register for the Big River Crossing event may attend this get-together; however there is only space for 45 additional guests, and these attendees must provide their own transportation. To reserve your spot now, contact Tammy Boyce at 501-682-5240 or Tammy.Boyce@arkansas.gov.

Address: 264 Looney Lane, Proctor, AR 72376

From Southland Park Gaming and Racing:

  • Turn right onto Interstate 40 Frontage Rd E
  • Use left lane to take the I-40W/I-55N ramp to Little Rock/Blytheville
  • After 1.2 miles, keep left at the fork to stay on I-40W (follow signs for Little Rock)
  • After 1.6 miles, take exit 275 for AR-119 toward Airport Rd
  • Turn left onto AR-118 S/N Airport Rd
  • After 2.8 miles, continue straight onto 10 Mile Bayou for 0.2 miles
  • Continue onto Waverly Rd/Co Rd 16 for 2.8 miles
  • Turn right onto Caldwell Rd/Co Rd 18
  • After 0.9 miles turn left onto Looney Ln
  • End at 264 Looney Ln
If driving, plan to arrive around 2:00 p.m.

There is a gravel parking lot and there may be a parking assistant on duty.

This event will end at approximately 4:00 p.m. to allow guests to get back to Southland for the Opening Reception & Early Bird Party at 6:00 p.m.



Sponsored by West Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau
Celebrate the start of Governor’s Conference 2018 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. during a party at Southland Park Gaming & Racing! Featuring live music by Arkansas artists, this event will include heavy hors d’oeuvres and a full bar (with your drink tickets). Mingle with colleagues from across the state – and possibly meet a retired racing greyhound or two.

Tuesday, March 13


Benefitting the Arkansas Tourism Development Foundation
Test your luck during a special Governor's Conference slot tournament Tuesday, March 13, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Southland Lounge. Win up to $500 in cash! Conference attendees may sign up at Player Rewards anytime between Sunday and the beginning of the tournament. The cost to participate is $10, and up to 300 entrants may take part.


Wednesday, March 14


Wrap up your conference excitement with a tour of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, March 14. Enjoy guided tours of the Dyess Colony Visitors Center as well as the boyhood home of The Man in Black. Best of all, the special guest tour guide will be Joanne Cash, sister to Johnny Cash.

The house was seen in the motion picture "I Walk the Line." Now owned by Arkansas State University, the house has been restored. The administration building contains exhibits related to the establishment of the colony, lifestyles of typical colonists, and the impact that growing up in Dyess had on Johnny Cash and his music. The Dyess Colony Visitors Center, located in the Colony Circle at the former site of the theatre and pop shop, includes a gift shop, orientation video, and exhibits. 

For this tour, the shuttle will leave the Comfort Suites Hotel promptly at 8:30 a.m. The shuttle will begin loading at 8:15 a.m. A shuttle provided by the West Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau will leave from the tour site at noon to return to West Memphis. Shuttle spots will be limited to the first 43 people who select this add-on during registration.