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Arkansas Meeting Guide: Two for one in North Little Rock

Courtesy Arkansas Tourism

Ask Hazel Hernandez why planners should consider North Little Rock for their next event, and she’s quick with the answer.

“You have two cities for the price of one,” said Hernandez, group marketing consultant for the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau.

Only the Arkansas River separates North Little Rock from Little Rock, the state capital, and a trolley system links the two downtowns. Both cities benefit from Little Rock National Airport. But North Little Rock can tout its “funk factor.”

“We’re very arts-oriented,” Hernandez said. “We have a downtown arts-and-entertainment district, and there are a lot of galleries and a farmers market. We’re very much about supporting local businesses.”

Little Rock can claim the Statehouse Convention Center, which has about 220,000 square feet of meeting, public and exhibit space. However, North Little Rock is not without venue options. Two full-service hotels target meetings: the Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock and the Hilton Garden Inn North Little Rock.

Located next to Dickey-Stephens Ballpark, home of the Arkansas Travelers AA baseball team, the 220-room Wyndham has more than 14,000 square feet of meeting space in as many as 14 meeting rooms.

The 118-room Hilton Garden Inn offers more than 4,000 square feet of meeting space. A 3,256-square-foot ballroom can be divided.

With more than 2,000 hotel rooms, all about 10 minutes from Little Rock National Airport, North Little Rock is seeing activity in the international and national arenas.

“We recently hosted the 12th International Conference on the Short Story in English, and we had people from France, Spain and Portugal in town,” Hernandez said.

New properties with meeting space are in the works, but Hernandez could not provide details.
Meeting planners take guests out to the ballgame when the Travelers, an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, are playing. The 18,000-seat Verizon Arena hosts the Arkansas Diamonds indoor football league team. It has four meeting rooms, prefunction space and 28,000-square-feet of arena floor.

Whether you take in a ballgame, cruise on the Arkansas Queen riverboat or visit the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in the Verizon Arena, North Little Rock is sure to leave a presidential impression.