Spring River businesses expecting a boost in Memorial Day tourism
Updated: Jun 2, 2021
FULTON COUNTY, Ark- One town in the region is gearing up for a boost in tourism this summer. And they expect that wave to start this weekend.
With the kickoff to Memorial Day weekend underway, one business says they are already seeing an increase in holiday tourism compared to this time last year.
“Judging from the phone calls and running out of rafts earlier than normal, yes, we are. We are expecting a big crowd this weekend,” says Jintala Wood, employee of Many Island Camp located along the Spring River.
While Many Islands did feel some of the economic impact of the pandemic last year, Wood believes they still had a decent season.
Thanks to families spending more time outside and exploring the area.
The Spring River is normally packed with tourists on holiday weekends.
Wood knew that trend would continue as their rafts are fully booked for the weekend.
“We ran out a little earlier than we normally do. Usually, it’s Friday, kinda late afternoon before we do. But we ran out yesterday. So, it was a little earlier than expected.”
Getting a jump on their weekend, some Memorial Day tourists started to arrive yesterday.
One person starting their weekend early is Leigh Miller, a visitor from north Mississippi who is spending the holiday weekend along the river with friends.
Both Miller and Wood say they are excited for a busy weekend.
“It’s nice to be out, and we’re hoping it’s going to be a busy weekend, we get to see a lot of people. It’s great that we don’t have to wear masks,” says Miller. “We’re all back out and getting to be around our friends again. We’re hoping to sit and; people watch as people come down the river.
“We’re really excited and, I think everyone else is too. They can get out in nature and, they can kinda get away from people,” Wood said.
The tourism increase is not isolated to Many Islands.
KJNB Northeast Arkansas News spoke to other Spring River businesses off-camera, who say they were also expecting a large holiday crowd.