Businesses Brace for Spring Break

HOT SPRINGS, AR--Businesses in Hot Springs are bracing for a busy spring break thanks to months of harsh winter weather. It was close call for many as businesses watched to see if spring breaks would be canceled due to too many snow days. Now they're hoping most students and their families will spend their time and money locally.

Margaret McGinness says, "It's our one chance to explore, there are so many neat places in the state. We try to do a state park each year so we can see what's out there in Arkansas." This year the McGinness family is embarking upon a new adventure, zip-lining through Hot Springs. "We're a little nervous but we think it's going to be fun," she adds.

Open just 10 days, Adventureworks tours have been booked solid. "It's taken off much more than we ever could have anticipated," says Hot Springs General Manager Sklyer Villeneuve. The interest is a good sign for the Spa City, where new and longtime businesses are banking on spring break to make up for the nastier than usual winter.

Snow days slowed down construction at the park. Villeneuve says, "We had freezing rain, it was too unsafe to be out in the woods." And threatened to rob students of a Spring break. "It was a little scary it would have probably put a damper on this," says Rick Crispino.But most districts chose other makeup days, sparing spring break in time for spring-like temperatures.

Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, says Arkansas owes much of its success to its neighbors. "The Texas economy right now is booming. It's at an all new level for Texas which is a big market for Arkansas," says Arrison.

Coupled with support from locals, like the McGinness bunch, Arrison is hoping the momentum from spring break will carry local businesses through the summer. Arrison says Hot Springs is on track to have one of it's best spring breaks in five years.

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