Crystal Bridges Museum Open At Last

by Serenah McKay  on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 3:49 pm  

After years of planning, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art finally opened its doors to the public Friday. Area merchants say they're already seeing a boost in tourism.

The region's hotels are generally booked Monday through Thursday with business travelers, but Lightner said they're all hoping Crystal Bridges will boost weekend occupancy rates.

"We're getting calls from all over the U.S. from people specifically coming to see Crystal Bridges," she said. "We're ready to welcome all the new people who come into Northwest Arkansas."

Louis Herrera, house manager at Table Mesa Bistro on the Bentonville square, said the restaurant has seen sales up 30 percent in the last month due to people coming into town for previews and other museum-related activities.

Crystal Bridges architect Moshe Safdie has become a regular at the restaurant, Herrera said.

To prepare for this weekend, he said, they hired more staff, made some changes to the menu and re-arranged tables to accommodate large groups.

"We're not taking any more reservations for [Saturday] night," he said. "Our book filled up two weeks ago."





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