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Increased Tourism Gives Fayetteville A Major Boost

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) --  With more traffic moving through Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville's Visitor's Bureau is seeing a big boost in revenue from restaurants and hotels.

"We came up about a year ago and just kind of fell in love with the Fayetteville area," said Chris Prater. Besides visiting his daughter at the University of Arkansas, he said there's a unique feel that brings his family back to Fayetteville time after time.

"The food and the atmosphere ... it's just a great small kind of boutique type town," Prater said.

One of his family's favorite things to do while they're in town is try out the variety of dining options the city offers.

"We go to Doe's on Dickson Street, we've been to Arsagas for brunch -- it's a great restaurant," said Prater.

In the past six months the visitors bureau, Experience Fayetteville,  reached $1.6 million in tax collections from hotels and restaurants, which passes last years total of $1.2 million.

According to Experience Fayetteville Executive Director Molly Rawn, the revenue also supports maintaining local parks in the area.

"There's more money going to the city's parks and recreation department, too, so the things that locals enjoy. Our city parks those cost money to maintain and we're able to do that as a city through HMR (Hotel, Motel and Restaurants) dollars," said Rawn.  She's excited to explore the new opportunities that this increase will bring.

"We are really looking forward to our public art initiative," said Rawn.   "It's called Green Candy and it launches at the end of August.  Also people in Fayetteville will be able to enjoy several art installations that they're gonna' see popping up around the downtown area."