Archive for May, 2017

Thanks to Sam Walton (Walmart), Alice Walton (Crystal Bridges) and now the Grandsons … this sleepy little town is truly the best example of what a successful city of the future looks like.  

After spending three days attending the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Commission meeting in Bentonville, I am pumped up.  This place is alive … it is exhilirating … it is energizing … it is the place I would choose to live if I were younger… It is the place to be … It is the future!

Patti and I went to the University of Arkansas years ago and would drive  to Bentonville to sit on the park bench in the square.  We were the only ones there … now this place is teeming with commerce, hotels, restaurants, brew pubs, bike shops and people from all over the world.


From the new Buckminister Fuller Fly’s Eye Dome to the soon to be opened inside/outside Dale Chihuly exhibit to a converted church (now that’s pretty funny) into a restaurant and bar called the Preacher’s Son, to a closed cheese factory to be an art and activity center … on and on and on … this place is changing for the good and for the future.  The quality of life amenities such as mountain bike and greenway trails and fun places to eat or have a craft beer, Bentonville is the place to live, be creative, be active, be educated, seek a fulfilling career or simply visit.

I made this comment after one presentation about even more plans in the works:

“I am proud of the things that have been happening in Little Rock over the past 25 years, but after spending three days in Northwest Arkansas, I am convinced that Bentonville is becoming THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE !!

I’m just happy that Bentonville is in our state of Arkansas …                                    




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On our way to Ohio for The American Trails International Symposium.


First stop … Metropolis, Illinois … Home of Superman!

Wow … what a serendipitous find.  Actually we were only looking for lodging and a place to eat and had made reservations at the Harrah’s Hotel and Casino in Metropolis.  Only upon arrival did we realize we had landed in the home of Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Superman, the hero of Truth, Justice and the American way.

On to Dayton, Ohio with a detour of one night in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Other than a flat tire, this small town in Kentucky was wonderful.  Even the tire issue was as pleasant as could be because of the very helpful and professional staff at the Walmart auto center.  Thank you guys.

This entire area is beautiful and historic … rolling hills of blue grass horse farms, narrow winding roads with Civil War era hand made rock fences and to make it even more special,  dinner in a great restaurant  sipping Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon, eating the best baby back ribs ever while watching the Kentucky Derby. Now, if that ain’t livin’, I don’t know what is!

BTW… Copper River Grill is A+


Dayton, Ohio and the American Trails International Symposium

As an avid hiker/outdoorsman, this conference is right up my alley.  Dayton, was a great choice for the conference …   large convention center downtown, hundreds of miles of trails, river front activity center and the largest Airforce Museum in the nation drawing over one million visitors each year. Little Rock was the host city in 2009 and this year, I was honored to be chosen as a new Board Member of American Trails International.



The real highlight for me was having some of the finest staff members of any State Parks and Tourism Department in the nation.  I am honored to serve with them as we promote Arkansas Tourism and Arkansas parks. 

Thank you team … you make us proud!


On our return Patti and I stopped at one of our State Parks … Mammoth Springs

Located in the Northeast corner of Arkansas, this 60+ acre park is home to one of the largest springs in the Ozarks … averaging over 9,000,000 gallons of water per hour.  The day we visited, due to recent rain, the spring was producing almost 16 million gallons of water per hour.


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