HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - Numbers don't lie, and the Summit Arena and Hot Springs Convention Center continue to hurdle the losses.
When word came the Sun Belt Tournament would leave Hot Springs for New Orleans the administrators at the venue knew to push through the negativity, and now their poised for a solid economic year.
"It's the nature of the business, especially if you get into athletic events. You know they stay some place two or three years and then they move on," said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs.
The Arkansas High School State tournament will return to Hot Springs and Arrison says the Convention Center and Arena made up ground from the Sunbelt loss.
"Our bookings for the convention center were up ten percent over the previous year. '13 was up ten percent over 2012, we thing '14 will be as good as well," said Arrison.
Arrison said the functionality of the arena and convention center broadens booking opportunities. This weekend the venue hosts a statewide Beta club event and vendors from across the state will fill up the convention center for the Lions Club gun and knife fundraiser.
"When I talk to our vendors who do gun shows not just here but also Searcy and Little Rock they love coming here because of the facility. The facility is clean, it's efficient, easy to get in and out when they want to bring their wares in, when it's time to leave as well as gives a good venue for people attending the show," said Larry Louden, President of South Hot Springs Lions Club.
Arrison said the venue will bid on the Great American Conference basketball tournament for 2015. The conference includes Harding, Henderson State, and Ouachita Baptist University.