Mayor Says Miss. Arkansas Brings In Millions To LR

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - In just about 24 hours we should know who the next Miss. Arkansas is. However, it's much more than the glitz, glamour, and grace. 
 
For decades, the event has been held in Hot Springs, but this year it's in the City of Little Rock. The city says with the pageant being held at the Robinson Center it has more than a million dollar economic impact. It's helping the largest city in Arkansas and small businesses too. 
 
Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro's owner Darla Huie says for the last week business has been good. Her clientele has been contestants, families, and people supporting those in the Miss. Arkansas pageant. 
 
"They were here, they were our guests last night and we enjoyed that tremendously. It was really really nice," said Huie. 
 
She says she's directly benefiting from people at the event spending money in Little Rock. 
 
"It makes the business easy and fun, enjoyable, and very diverse. We love it," she said. 
 
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola says the city as a whole is seeing a positive effect especially when it comes to dollars and cents. 
 
"It's been 50 years since the pageant has been around and the very first time that they decided to move it to the Capitol City," said Stodola. "We have estimated it to have a $2 million impact on the economy of the city. That is tremendous."
 
He says the recently renovated Robinson Center is not only attracting the Miss. Arkansas pageant, but helps the city compete to bring in other events too. 
 
"I predict that we're going to be hosting a lot more activities now," said Stodola. "We can accommodate events and conventions of all sizes." 
 
As the city gets the spotlight, Huie is happy more people are spending their time in Little Rock. 
 
"We have a lot of people that come in and say, 'We had no idea Little Rock was like this.' Which was the goal of the developers to begin with," said Huie. 
 
The City of Little Rock says it will host the pageant for five years. After that they will renegotiate the bid and other cities can try to get the pageant as well. 

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