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Docked Arkansas Queen set to leave in February

The eight-year-old Arkansas Queen, which served as a quick getaway for many people, will no longer float on the Arkansas River.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The eight-year-old Arkansas Queen, which served as a quick getaway for many people, will no longer float on the Arkansas River.

General Manager Roger Odell said it's leaving because the city never replaced a barge that sank in 2009.

In a letter written by Odell to North Little Rock city leaders, he writes the riverboat "...has notified the city on several occasions that the city's failure to provide a replacement barge for the Salty Parrot barge constitutes a material and substantial breach of the January 25, 2005, lease."

"Those barges are very expensive, and I really don't think the barge was what broke the camel's back," North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith said.

Smith is disappointed the riverboat is leaving but says the city just didn't have the money to replace it.

"We wish them well, and we hope that we can entice another industry to come and be part of our community," Smith said.

The riverboat lured many tourists to the area and offered them a different vantage point to the city.

Bob Major, executive director the Visitors Bureau, wonders about the effect on the tourist industry and what can take its place.

"There's something about water that draws people," Major said.

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