Hot Springs tourism ramping up for summer season

Local News

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – As vaccinations ramp up and mandates are lifted, the world is getting back to normal and that includes travel.

Hot Springs is the number one tourist destination in the state and after a rough 2020, the city is already seeing a rebound.

Shoes are hitting the pavement and shoppers are hitting the stores in downtown Hot Springs.

“Everybody was ready for new clothes and to get out there,” Renee Tompkins, Boutique Owner said.

Tompkins owns two boutiques on Central Avenue and looks back on this time last year.

From empty streets in 2020 to packed sidewalks in 2021, she said business is not only back but better than ever.

“We’re running three times what we normally run,” Tompkins said.

It’s not just her stores that are seeing a spike in spending.

“Things are taking off for Hot Springs,” Steve Arrison, Visit Hot Springs CEO said.

According to Arrison, March set a new record for sales tax revenue and April is up 130% from last year.

“Things have gone crazy crazy,” Arrison said.

He doesn’t think it will slow down any time soon.

“We believe it will be the biggest summer for Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas,” Arrison said.

For Tompkins, she’s just happy to see new and old faces walking through the door.

“I feel like we’re on the other side. I feel like from here out we’re going to be okay,” Tompkins said.

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