Arkansas Tourism

Great Arkansas Cleanup Keep Arkansas Beautiful
Keep Arkansas Beautiful

Spring cleaning isn’t just for our homes. March first is the beginning of the three-month Great Arkansas Cleanup, when volunteers will shake out the rugs for out-of-state visitors.

“It is absolutely essential for tourists to get a good impression of Arkansas when they come to visit,” said Liz Philpott, volunteer program manager for Keep Arkansas Beautiful, which is part of the state Department of Parks and Tourism.

Hot Springs Mountain Tower

A new operator has been selected for the Hot Springs Mountain Tower.

The Sentinel-Record reports that Ortega National Park LLC of Santa Fe, New Mexico, will operate the tower through a subsidiary.

This will be the first time that the observation tower won't be operated by the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission.

Sandy Poole with the National Park Service's Midwest Regional Office says the transition of operations from the commission to Ortega will happen over the next few months and may be completed in early March.

The Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame says it will induct two new members in March.

The group said Monday that it would add Montine McNulty, the executive director of the Arkansas Hospitality Association, and Bill Worthen, the director of the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Ceremonies are set for March 14 during the 42nd annual Governor's Conference on Tourism.

McNulty helped promote tourism-related bills during the last quarter-century, including a 2 percent tourism tax and a one-eighth-cent conservation tax.

The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism is getting its first new executive director in 25 years. Kane Webb was named to the post by Governor Asa Hutchinson on Thursday to succeed Richard Davies.

Webb is a former journalist and native Arkansan. He also comes straight from the governor’s office. Webb credits his background in communication and journalism as preparing him to promote the state’s destinations. The previous parks and tourism head also studied journalism before entering the department.

Collections for the Arkansas tourism trust fund continue their steady increase, according to a report given to the Arkansas Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission. Collections for the 2% tourism tax for July were $1.656 million, up 14.83% compared to the same month in 2014.

Year to date collections are up 7.85%

The tourism trust fund tax is usually considered one of the most reliable indicators of the health tourism industry. The 2% tax on hotels and an assortment of other hospitality services is used as the measure for how many people are traveling in Arkansas.

Gov. Address: Biking The Natural State

Oct 10, 2015
Governor's Radio Address
Office of the Governor

The following is a transcript of Governor Asa Hutchinson's media address for the weekend of Oct. 9, 2015:

I love the outdoors. As the summer weather winds down and the fall leaves turn, there’s no better place to be than right here in Arkansas. We’re known as the Natural State for a reason. Our moderate year-round climate and stunning landscape are perfect for outdoor activities, especially biking on one of our scenic trails.

$6.7 Million Advertising Budget Approved for Arkansas Tourism

Sep 28, 2015

The Arkansas State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission unanimously approved the 2016 Spring/Summer Advertising and Marketing Proposal presented by CJRW, the advertising agency of record for the Department of Parks and Tourism, and Aristotle, the interactive agency of record.

The comprehensive $6.7 million plan includes television, online, radio, magazine, out-of-home and newspaper advertising, as well as public-private partnerships, public relations support and industry outreach.

Gov. Radio Address: Fishing Tourism Big Business

Aug 29, 2015
Office of the Governor


The following is a transcript of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Radio Address for the weekend of Aug. 28, 2015:

Some folks say Arkansas is a football state, or a Razorback state. In Northeast Arkansas, they may say we’re a Red Wolves state. During the winter, we may be a basketball state.

But you know what Arkansas ALWAYS is? We are always an outdoors state. We are always a hunting and fishing state.

The historic Delta Queen riverboat is heading for New Orleans for repairs that some hope will make it seaworthy for the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers again.

One significant hurdle remains for the vessel. A congressional exemption to the Safety of Life at Sea Act is necessary because the Delta Queen is a riverboat rather than an oceangoing vessel. A bill allowing the exemption stalled in the Senate last year.

Lee Powell, Executive Director of the Delta Caucus, is optimistic about congressional support this year.

Dogpatch USA

North Arkansas authorities say a fire has destroyed three buildings at a former theme park.

The Newton County sheriff's office received a report early Sunday about a fire at Dogpatch USA, a former attraction based on Al Capp's "Li'l Abner" comic strip. It closed in 1993.

Glenn Wheeler, fire chief of the Krooked Kreek Volunteer Fire Department, says one building already was destroyed and two others were engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Wheeler says a fourth building caught fire but had minimal damage. He says the cause of the fire is under investigation.