Big Weekend in NWA Attracts Thousands of Visitors

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“We have anglers coming from all over the country and some are international. We have some racers that are coming from all over the world, various levels of professional sports going on in our area so the impact is huge,” says Brad Henry, Northwest Arkansas Tourism Executive Director.

Hotel rooms are filling up and restaurants are prepping for a busy weekend in Northwest Arkansas.

The Walmart FLW Tournament got off to a start early Thursday on Beaver Lake. Big fish are key in this event, because weight will determine the top anglers.

The event wraps up Sunday with the winner in the top category taking home a $125,000 check.

But anglers won`t be the only ones reeling in the cash.

“We`re thinking hundreds of thousands of dollars coming in, that`s from people going to restaurants, people staying in hotels, people buying gasoline in the area, so that`s a huge amount coming in,” adds Henry.

The streets of Fayetteville will be busy with cyclists and runners. People will be dressed in pink Saturday for the race for the cure.

And more than 700 pro and amateur cyclists will take part in the 35th anniversary Joe Martin Stage Race.

From downtown Fayetteville to south of West Fork the cyclists will cover a lot of ground from Thursday to Sunday.

“This is known as one of the most difficult races that they do in the National Race Calender, they willl cover about 300 to 400 miles over the four stage race will they are here,” says Erika McCourt, event organizer.

Henry says these events draw attention to this area.

“As soon as the region gets more attention, more companies start looking into this region to do more tournaments, more conventions, more meetings, they find that this economy is really going upward.”