Arkansas Business Magazine has recognized Texarkana, Arkansas for Tourism Development from our Creative Culture among Arkansas cities with a Population 20,000 or Greater.
The Challenge – Since 2011, Texarkana’s Front Street Plaza has been the epicenter of art and entertainment in the city, serving as a catalyst for events and private investment that continues to grow with a proliferation of bars and restaurants. For an area that once had more abandoned than occupied buildings, the goal has been simple: bring people downtown, promote tourism to the city and region and encourage downtown revitalization and economic development in one of the first designated entertainment districts in the state.
The solution – Initial investment in the outdoor venue included utility hookups for vendors and a long-term lease for the former loading dock used as a stage; the Front Street Plaza stage is the former loading dock for the Union Pacific Railroad. Nonprofit and private entities began using the facilities, and new money was allotted by the state legislature. The City of Texarkana, Arkansas and the Texarkana, Arkansas Advertising and Promotions Commission recently funded construction on a cover for the existing stage and multiple restrooms on festival grounds that will help attract larger concerts and audiences. There are additional plans for permanent amphitheater seating.
(adapted from a report by AR business Magazine)