Hot Springs planning to increase tourism | News
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - The city of Hot Springs is putting together a plan to increase tourism over the next five years.
The Chamber of Commerce is putting together a strategic plan to increase tourism through businesses and attractions. Officials are looking for talent, another name for entrepreneurs.
"Talent becomes our number one asset," said David Byerly is the President and CEO of the Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce
Byerly said any new venture faces the same challenge.
"What so many entrepreneurs face is access to capital. So we begin looking at some programs we can duplicate or bring into the community that really do start to address the capital needs, the startup needs of young entrepreneurs," Byerly said.
The Chamber of Commerce works to promote new businesses through technical training.
"Well were very, very fortunate that we have a very active and vibrant small business community and and entrepreneurial spirit in this community," Byerly said.
One new business in Hot Springs is Extreme Fun Spot. It's a new tourist attraction which opened 30 days ago and is already drawing in the summer crowds.
Ray Beechy is the owner of Extreme Fun Spot, which features a mobile zip line, laser tag and pony rides.
"I've been in the tourism business for 20-something years now and just wanted to try something different. I love the tourism business and I think the area is great and I love Hot Springs, that's a big part of it," Beechy said.
Nick Amro and his family traveled to Hot Springs from Hernando, Mississippi and stopped at Extreme Fun Spot.
"We were passing by going to the museum. We spotted the sign and it's a nice looking place so we came in and gave it a shot and kids loved it. Hopefully we'll be here every year," said Amro.
Good news for a new business.
"We're planning next year adding a whole bunch more to it, so we're excited for everybody that's been coming out and supporting it," Beechy said.
A capital campaign has just been launched to help raise the funds needed to implement the Chamber's plan.
The goal is to bring in between $3 million to $3.5 million which business and community leaders have already pledged.