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Little Rock A&P Tax Collections Up 8.4% in 2023

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Collections from Little Rock’s taxes on lodging and prepared foods rose by 8.4% to $18.37 million last year, the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau said in its annual report.

The 2% Advertising & Promotion Commission tax is one of the ways that the tourism bureau measures the city’s performance as a leisure and convention destination. Compared to 2020, when collections fell to a record low due to the COVID-19 pandemic, collections were up more than 53%.

According to the report, the tourism bureau’s sales team attended a record number of regional and national trade shows in 2023, resulting in more than 227 future event bookings with an economic impact of more than $48 million.

The Robinson Center saw 263 facility user days with a total attendance of 194,972, topping records set in 2022. Top events last year included stage productions of “Aladdin” and “Legally Blonde” and the 2023 Miss Arkansas Pageant.

The Statehouse Convention Center also set a record for facility user days with 274, though total attendance fell 7.2% to 249,513. The venue’s top event was the 2023 Delta Waterfowl Duck Hunters Expo, which drew 24,900 attendees.

Other highlights from 2023 include the reopening of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts after a years-long, $160 million redesign and renovation.

“Our key performance indicators show a continued path forward,” Gina Gemberling, president and CEO of LRCVB, said in a statement.

Last year also marked the first year of LRCVB’s implementation of its Tourism Master Plan. The plan calls for renovations to the Statehouse Convention Center, which are underway, and a possible expansion of the facility. The plan also recommends reinvestment in public spaces along the riverfront, expanded data use to refine targeted marketing campaigns, and a reimagining of Ottenheimer Market Hall, the public food court-style venue in the River Market.

Usage of Ottenheimer Market Hall, First Security Amphitheater and River Market pavilions fell sharply last year, according to the report. The tourism bureau, which manages those facilities, said user days fell from 99 to 68 and total attendance dropped from 108,978 to 80,165.

 

 

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