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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Welcome to the West in Fort Smith

Meeting attendees can explore the Western and food frontiers at Fort Smith.

Voted No. 1 on True West magazine’s True Western Towns of 2013 list, home of famous “Hanging Judge” Isaac C. Parker and the former point of convergence for the Five Civilized Tribes of Indian Territory, Fort Smith is now a modern city with a passion for its rough-and-tumble Western past.

The town’s visitors center is Miss Laura’s Social Club, a restored Victorian-era former bordello on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Most of the windows are stained glass, and it’s just spectacular,” said Sherry Scorby, convention and events sales director of the Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Everything is in Victorian decor. It’s a don’t-miss.”

Other historical highlights include Judge Parker’s federal courthouse and replica gallows, the Fort Smith Museum of History, also on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can check out the Belle Grove Historic District of Victorian homes, Oak Cemetery, the U.S. National Cemetery and Garrison Avenue, in the heart of town. The city will gain another new historical attraction with the U.S Marshals Museum, which broke ground in September and is expected to open in 2017.

The Ozark vistas and surrounding wine country can be seen via the A&M Scenic Excursion Train. The Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center overlooks Wells Lake and is popular for fishing and picnicking.

Meeting-goers with downtime in the area can ride the Fort Smith trolley downtown or visit the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum and the Chaffee Barbershop Museum, where Elvis Presley got his famous buzz cut before going into the Army.

Dining is diverse in the town and includes Indian, German and Italian cuisines, among others. Rolando’s, a Latino restaurant, is one of Scorby’s favorites. Neumeier’s Rib Room has a lighthearted atmosphere and live music. There is also a wealth of Asian cuisine, in part due to the influx of Vietnamese who settled in the area in the 1970s.

The MovieLounge and Epicenter is ideal as an off-site venue and offers an unusual multimedia meeting experience. It offers catering services, a ballroom, two 80-seat state-of-the-art cinemas and a screening room among its amenities.


Spotlight on Fort Smith

Primary meeting facilities: Fort Smith Convention Center

Other meeting properties: Holiday Inn City Center; Courtyard by Marriott; River Valley Inn and Suites, Hampton Inn

Largest meeting space: Fort Smith Convention Center (40,000 square feet)

Total hotel rooms: 2,345

CVB website: