Fair warning | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fair warning

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 10:32 AM

A reader forwarded to us a letter circulated by the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce seeking interest on the part of private businesses in a new State Fair location near the Pulask-Lonoke county line.

Does that mean the selection process is over but for the matter of finding a substantial sum to build the new fairgrounds, currently on Roosevelt Road in Little Rock?

The Arkansas State Fair has indeed hired a marketing firm to do an economic and feasibility study, with a focus on what it would cost to move the fair to land northeast of North Little Rock. Markin Consulting, a Maple Grove, Minn. firm, is polling businesses about their interest in using a new site.

Ralph Shoptaw, president and general manager of the Arkansas Livestock Show Association, said that Markin was hired to look at possible locations inside the I-440/I-40 "box," all land north of the Arkansas River. Jacksonville — which submitted one of the 16 proposals for a new State Fair site last year — has offered to donate 450 acres for the project if the fairgrounds will relocate there. The northern boundary of the property is Wooten Road, with the western boundary on 440. Asked if the offer puts Jacksonville at the top of the list of potential locations, Shoptaw said: "I can't say that. All I can say is that it's in the mix. It's in that area that we're looking at... Because Jacksonville has offered to give us that land out there, we wanted to look at the entire area. " North Little Rock has suggested land off Interstate 40 east of that city.

Shoptaw said that the feasibility study should help officials decide whether a move or not is possible, "When the numbers come back, we may not be able to afford to move, but we're doing our due-diligence to see if we can afford to." While he wouldn't say that restoring the fairgrounds on Roosevelt Road in Little Rock and remaining there is off the table, he did say that the State Fair is "landlocked" in its current location, with only 96 acres of land. The average sized State Fairgrounds nationwide, Shoptaw said, is 366 acres.

— David Koon

LETTER FROM NLR CHAMBER

The Arkansas State Fair Board has engaged a professional consultant to conduct a market and financial feasibility study for moving the Fairgrounds to a site east of the core Little Rock area, near the Pulaski/Lonoke County border. Markin Consulting is conducting an assessment of the need for larger event facilities at the proposed site that may accommodate local meetings, seminars and banquets.

Markin Consulting is currently identifying potential users of event facilities and gathering information about their specific facility needs. In particular, Markin Consulting would like to get feedback from Greater Little Rock area businesses about any needs that they have for off-site facilities to host meetings, seminars, training, trade shows, banquets or other activities - particularly as it relates to the proposed site.

I believe this study to be very important to our entire business community and would appreciate you taking time to complete a very short, on-line survey form for this study. Please click on the following web link to complete the survey:


www.markinconsulting.com/ASFBusinessSurvey.htm


If you have any questions about this survey, please call Rod Markin with Markin Consulting at 763-493-3568.


Thanks for your support and participation.


Terry Hartwick

President and Chief Executive Officer

North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce

Tags: , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • TGIF: News roundup, open line

    The week-ending news roundup and open line.
    • Oct 19, 2018
  • Rich white people fund PAC behind racist attack ads supporting French Hill UPDATE

    More reporting on the people contributing to Black Americans for the President's Agenda, which is running racist ads in Little Rock in support of Republican Rep. French Hill. The money isn't coming from black Americans, but wealthy conservative Republicans such as an owner of the San Francisco Giants. GOP feeling heat, files ethics complaint on ad.
    • Oct 19, 2018
  • Another made-up Republican attack: The Saline County socialists are coming to take your business

    The latest in bogus Republican political attacks comes from Saline County, where Steve Lux, chairman of the county Republican Committee, has sent a letter warning members of the Benton-Bryant Chamber of Commerce that a progressive group working to elect Democrats in the county is allied with a socialist group that wants nothing less than "the elimination of private business." This is, of course, nonsense.
    • Oct 19, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Slideshows

  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation