ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The governor of Kansas adds three new states to its quarantine list, including the Natural State.
“The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the tourism industry,” said J.R. Shaw, the executive director of Visit Rogers.
In Rogers alone, the pandemic has canceled or postponed a laundry list of summer events that bring revenue to the city.
Shaw said, “All the concerts at the Walmart AMP, larger events that would have been at the Embassy Suites, the convention center, Frisco festival, the Walmart shareholders meeting. We could go on and on.”
And now, the governor of Kansas puts Arkansas on a quarantine list.
This means if a Kansan comes to Arkansas, when they return home they’ll have to self-isolate for 14 days.
“To have something like this happen from Kansas is really unfortunate for those who are depending on out of state visitors for their livelihood,” Shaw said.
He said Northwest Arkansas depends on places like Kansas to support its tourism industry.
“Being up here in Northwest Arkansas, our touch states are our largest support,” he said. “Most of our visitors come from the state of Arkansas then after that its the states of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.”
We asked Governor Asa Hutchinson for his thoughts on the impact it could have on a state level.
He said, “I don’t see it having a great impact on Arkansas. Obviously people from New York and all over the country can travel here, coming to our great state parks, and I guess we’ll miss a few Kansans that might not be able to come here because of it.”
Shaw said while the numbers in Rogers may look grim now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
“The business will be back,” he said. “Good news is, if things progress and keep progressing to where we figure this whole thing out, 2021 is going to look a whole lot better than 2020.”