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Tourism needs to be a big part of Little Rock, people need to know that its there and realize how nice it is. I think many people may have a false impression of LR from things such as the HBO documentary "Bangin in the Rock". Maybe the 7 proposed casinos will get built and that in turn will help Little Rock and the rest of the state by increasing tourism which will generate jobs and money.

As for the schools and big business thing johnnydr87 is right. I think the schools will be a bigger issue and the sad thing is that it will be hard to change this late in the game. A major university should have been established years ago, so they will have to build off of what they have.

Honestly, UCA is the state's 2nd best university (obviously not counting liberal arts colleges like Hendrix and Lyons). I think that campus will never get better. It will never be UA but doesn't need to. Hell, larger cities like San Antonio or Las Vegas don't have the benefit of anything better than UALR.

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I think Little Rock would benefit more from having more start-ups and entrepreneurial incentives. To look to outside resources to somehow propel Little Rock into becoming something that it is not is problematic. The people living here should build-up the industry and expand the job opportunities. Reflect on Arkansas' economic successes, Wal Mart, Alltel, Tyson, Stephens and Acxiom. They're here because they were started by folks that lived here. The need is for more of these types of businesses. That is the model for success here.

Tourist destinations are made largely because of geography and geology. In this respect, Little Rock and North Little Rock have a large river and for the last 15 years it has become a focus for development. The bike trail is an excellent use of this resource because it is unique. And you can't do much in the Arkansas River except look at it or boat on it. Hopefully, other developments will take advantage of the asthetics of the river.

Other things Little Rock has going for it is that it is the State Capitol, has a Presidential Library, and is Heifer International Headquarters. The two latter features are the results of the success of people from Little Rock.

Outside investment, such as the group redeveloping the Lafayette Square should be welcome and encouraged, but not banked on. The resources the project brings to the City are a bonus. While i am guilty of it in my own personal finances from time to time, relying on a bonus to pay the rent is a bad habit.

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I think Little Rock would benefit more from having more start-ups and entrepreneurial incentives. To look to outside resources to somehow propel Little Rock into becoming something that it is not is problematic. The people living here should build-up the industry and expand the job opportunities. Reflect on Arkansas' economic successes, Wal Mart, Alltel, Tyson, Stephens and Acxiom. They're here because they were started by folks that lived here. The need is for more of these types of businesses. That is the model for success here.

Tourist destinations are made largely because of geography and geology. In this respect, Little Rock and North Little Rock have a large river and for the last 15 years it has become a focus for development. The bike trail is an excellent use of this resource because it is unique. And you can't do much in the Arkansas River except look at it or boat on it. Hopefully, other developments will take advantage of the asthetics of the river.

Other things Little Rock has going for it is that it is the State Capitol, has a Presidential Library, and is Heifer International Headquarters. The two latter features are the results of the success of people from Little Rock.

Outside investment, such as the group redeveloping the Lafayette Square should be welcome and encouraged, but not banked on. The resources the project brings to the City are a bonus. While i am guilty of it in my own personal finances from time to time, relying on a bonus to pay the rent is a bad habit.

I was really hoping Win Rockefeller would become governor before he was diagnosed with leukemia. He was extremely pro-business while having more of a socially moderate view, more like John McCain than most Republicans - especially Huckabee. I think a great pro-business governor like him was exactly what the state needed and it's shame he came down with an illness like that.

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I was really hoping Win Rockefeller would become governor before he was diagnosed with leukemia. He was extremely pro-business while having more of a socially moderate view, more like John McCain than most Republicans - especially Huckabee. I think a great pro-business governor like him was exactly what the state needed and it's shame he came down with an illness like that.

I agree Rockefeller would have been a better choice than any of the others in the race.

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Not really sure this needs it's own topic so I'll just throw this in here. Sounds like things are getting a bit nasty down at the Farmer's Market. Some of the vendors aren't getting along too well. Some believe in just offering local produce and others are bringing in more variety by getting lots of other stuff grown all throughout the country. Overall farmer's markets seem to vary from city to city. Plenty don't have any restrictions on where it comes from. The one here in Fayetteville has to have stuff grown in a four county area, nothing else.

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I've been perusing this forum for the past several weeks but havent posted much. I enjoy reading the posts as well as viewing the assortment of pictures. I was born and raised in Little Rock, and work with a civil engineering firm here as well. I have a great interest in development in the Little Rock area. I've particularly enjoyed this thread concerning Little Rock's problems, possible solutions, and the general outlook for the future. I have my own thoughts and will share some of them. When I speak of Little Rock, I typically am referring the greater metropolitan area as a whole.

First, there have been many positive developments in Little Rock in recent years. Following are a some that come to mind:

William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Park and Library

Heifer Project International

The River Market

Alltel Arena and Sports Hall of Fame

The Trolley System

USS Razorback and Maritime Museum

The new Nature Center (proposed)

Stephens Park Baseball Field (under construction)

The River Trail System (particularly the bridge over Murray Lock and Dam)

Several new mid-rise buildings

Development of condos downtown.

Carriage Rides

The new Riverfront Marina (proposed)

Bass Pro Shops (Proposed)

Helicopter Sight Seeing Tours (proposed)

Re-development of Main Street (proposed by Stephens)

I'm sure I'm missing several. But, now lets wave our magic wand and produce a wish list. Its ok to extend our vision a bit:

A new high rise building.

A new suspension bridge over the Arkansas River.

A Round-a-bout with fountain at Markham & Broadway.

An Observation Tower in downtown overlooking the river.

An Aquarium featuring fresh and salt water species.

A Botanical Garden.

A wildlife safari on the outskirts of town.

A dinner train along the Arkansas River.

New floating casinos on the river.

A new amusement park similar to Six Flags.

A new football stadium suitable for becoming a major bowl.

A new factory outlet mall with name brand stores (a great use for the University Mall).

Erect more fountains, statues and monuments throughout downtown.

More landscaping in roadway right-of-ways (including better maintenance).

A Flag Park with flags from all states and countries around the world.

Bring in more notable restaurants and bars such as a Hard Rock Cafe, etc.

Allow open beverages in The River Market area.

More museums and art galleries.

In addition, I support the idea of changing from a City Manager form of government to a Mayorial form. But, Little Rock needs a strong, aggressive person to govern. UALR is growing but needs to continue to grow, and establish more 4 year degree programs. The city needs a tax to repair our infrastructure. The streets are becoming a disgrace, and will only get worse. We need to lure some new businesses to the area, both white collar and blue collar.

These are merely thoughts, but a vision has to start somewhere.

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Nice to hear from you Flyfisher. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing some more posts over here. There's only so much I can do since I'm not from the area or extremely knowledgeable about it. Maybe we can get a little more activity going. :D

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I've been perusing this forum for the past several weeks but havent posted much. I enjoy reading the posts as well as viewing the assortment of pictures. I was born and raised in Little Rock, and work with a civil engineering firm here as well. I have a great interest in development in the Little Rock area. I've particularly enjoyed this thread concerning Little Rock's problems, possible solutions, and the general outlook for the future. I have my own thoughts and will share some of them. When I speak of Little Rock, I typically am referring the greater metropolitan area as a whole.

First, there have been many positive developments in Little Rock in recent years. Following are a some that come to mind:

William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Park and Library

Heifer Project International

The River Market

Alltel Arena and Sports Hall of Fame

The Trolley System

USS Razorback and Maritime Museum

The new Nature Center (proposed)

Stephens Park Baseball Field (under construction)

The River Trail System (particularly the bridge over Murray Lock and Dam)

Several new mid-rise buildings

Development of condos downtown.

Carriage Rides

The new Riverfront Marina (proposed)

Bass Pro Shops (Proposed)

Helicopter Sight Seeing Tours (proposed)

Re-development of Main Street (proposed by Stephens)

I'm sure I'm missing several. But, now lets wave our magic wand and produce a wish list. Its ok to extend our vision a bit:

A new high rise building.

A new suspension bridge over the Arkansas River.

A Round-a-bout with fountain at Markham & Broadway.

An Observation Tower in downtown overlooking the river.

An Aquarium featuring fresh and salt water species.

A Botanical Garden.

A wildlife safari on the outskirts of town.

A dinner train along the Arkansas River.

New floating casinos on the river.

A new amusement park similar to Six Flags.

A new football stadium suitable for becoming a major bowl.

A new factory outlet mall with name brand stores (a great use for the University Mall).

Erect more fountains, statues and monuments throughout downtown.

More landscaping in roadway right-of-ways (including better maintenance).

A Flag Park with flags from all states and countries around the world.

Bring in more notable restaurants and bars such as a Hard Rock Cafe, etc.

Allow open beverages in The River Market area.

More museums and art galleries.

In addition, I support the idea of changing from a City Manager form of government to a Mayorial form. But, Little Rock needs a strong, aggressive person to govern. UALR is growing but needs to continue to grow, and establish more 4 year degree programs. The city needs a tax to repair our infrastructure. The streets are becoming a disgrace, and will only get worse. We need to lure some new businesses to the area, both white collar and blue collar.

These are merely thoughts, but a vision has to start somewhere.

One project you left out was the Junction Bridge. As for your wish list I don't mind casinos but I don't care for them being the floating type. I would like to see development from Broadway to the Train Station along Markham. Maybe even move the police station to the I-630 area. Even extend the trolley down Markham to the Train Station. By the way the Train Station got a new $50,000 clock for it's tower this week. It would be nice to see some of the parkings lots turned into parks in the downtown area. Turn the area under the overpasses in the RiverMarket area into parks.

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Ive always felt central Arkansas could support NASCAR.

I agree. The area immediately east of North Little Rock is flat farmland with easy access from I-40 and I-440. I think that area would be great for any type of large sports facility such as NASCAR, a football stadium, etc.

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I agree. The area immediately east of North Little Rock is flat farmland with easy access from I-40 and I-440. I think that area would be great for any type of large sports facility such as NASCAR, a football stadium, etc.

I admit I'm not really much into NASCAR but I know tradtionally it's been big in the south. I was curious if anyone knew if most southern states had some sort of NASCAR facilities.

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I've been perusing this forum for the past several weeks but havent posted much. I enjoy reading the posts as well as viewing the assortment of pictures. I was born and raised in Little Rock, and work with a civil engineering firm here as well. I have a great interest in development in the Little Rock area. I've particularly enjoyed this thread concerning Little Rock's problems, possible solutions, and the general outlook for the future. I have my own thoughts and will share some of them. When I speak of Little Rock, I typically am referring the greater metropolitan area as a whole.

First, there have been many positive developments in Little Rock in recent years. Following are a some that come to mind:

William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Park and Library

Heifer Project International

The River Market

Alltel Arena and Sports Hall of Fame

The Trolley System

USS Razorback and Maritime Museum

The new Nature Center (proposed)

Stephens Park Baseball Field (under construction)

The River Trail System (particularly the bridge over Murray Lock and Dam)

Several new mid-rise buildings

Development of condos downtown.

Carriage Rides

The new Riverfront Marina (proposed)

Bass Pro Shops (Proposed)

Helicopter Sight Seeing Tours (proposed)

Re-development of Main Street (proposed by Stephens)

I'm sure I'm missing several. But, now lets wave our magic wand and produce a wish list. Its ok to extend our vision a bit:

A new high rise building.

A new suspension bridge over the Arkansas River.

A Round-a-bout with fountain at Markham & Broadway.

An Observation Tower in downtown overlooking the river.

An Aquarium featuring fresh and salt water species.

A Botanical Garden.

A wildlife safari on the outskirts of town.

A dinner train along the Arkansas River.

New floating casinos on the river.

A new amusement park similar to Six Flags.

A new football stadium suitable for becoming a major bowl.

A new factory outlet mall with name brand stores (a great use for the University Mall).

Erect more fountains, statues and monuments throughout downtown.

More landscaping in roadway right-of-ways (including better maintenance).

A Flag Park with flags from all states and countries around the world.

Bring in more notable restaurants and bars such as a Hard Rock Cafe, etc.

Allow open beverages in The River Market area.

More museums and art galleries.

In addition, I support the idea of changing from a City Manager form of government to a Mayorial form. But, Little Rock needs a strong, aggressive person to govern. UALR is growing but needs to continue to grow, and establish more 4 year degree programs. The city needs a tax to repair our infrastructure. The streets are becoming a disgrace, and will only get worse. We need to lure some new businesses to the area, both white collar and blue collar.

These are merely thoughts, but a vision has to start somewhere.

Great post. However, you did not mention the ONE thing that I think LR (really Pulaski County) ought to do next, and that is invest about $50-60M in creating a world-class zoo. It was fine in the 70's and was actually on par or better than many other zoo's at the time, but its really sub-par today. They should absorb the land that is now Ray Winder Field since it is being abandoned, and really expand the park. It would be a great tourist draw.

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Great post. However, you did not mention the ONE thing that I think LR (really Pulaski County) ought to do next, and that is invest about $50-60M in creating a world-class zoo. It was fine in the 70's and was actually on par or better than many other zoo's at the time, but its really sub-par today. They should absorb the land that is now Ray Winder Field since it is being abandoned, and really expand the park. It would be a great tourist draw.

I agree with you Architect. I remember when the zoo was great zoo too. It has fallen far below what it used to be. I'm sure it's all a matter of money, and that means the citizens need to support assisting the zoo through taxes, volunterrism and general support. Actually, I'd like to see another City Bond Issue come along that would include money for infrasture and zoo improvements. Our streets are falling into a state of disrepair.

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Great post. However, you did not mention the ONE thing that I think LR (really Pulaski County) ought to do next, and that is invest about $50-60M in creating a world-class zoo. It was fine in the 70's and was actually on par or better than many other zoo's at the time, but its really sub-par today. They should absorb the land that is now Ray Winder Field since it is being abandoned, and really expand the park. It would be a great tourist draw.

I think Ray Winder should be converted for use by UALR and other collegiate teams and similar functions but it is too much of a landmark to destroy. I thought for years we could absorb nine holes (or even all 18) of that chickenranch golf course/parking lot and use that land to dramatically expand the zoo and add more "park" to War Memorial Park. Rebsamen is a much nicer course, anyway.

I wish some of the big private donors like the Stephens would pass a few bucks to the zoo. It serves a big educational role to much of the state (just look at the school buses in the parking lot) and it needs help. The donations going to UAMS and UALR nearby are great, but a relatively trivial amount would to a world of good for that zoo. I, too, remember when it was a source of community pride instead of shame.

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I saw this mentioned over in the Shreveport-Bossier City forum. But there was talk of a possible water taxi. I was curious if anyone had ever thought of somehting like this for Little Rock/North Little Rock. Does anyone think this would be a good idea? I don't think I've ever heard of a water taxi before.

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I saw this mentioned over in the Shreveport-Bossier City forum. But there was talk of a possible water taxi. I was curious if anyone had ever thought of somehting like this for Little Rock/North Little Rock. Does anyone think this would be a good idea? I don't think I've ever heard of a water taxi before.

It's a cool idea, but I'm not sure that would be appropriate for LR-NLR day-in day-out. Shreveport-Bossier is handling day-to-day casino traffic, and they do not have a rail system. That is a different demographic and sequence from LR-NLR's business, convention and (now!) residential market.

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It's a cool idea, but I'm not sure that would be appropriate for LR-NLR day-in day-out. Shreveport-Bossier is handling day-to-day casino traffic, and they do not have a rail system. That is a different demographic and sequence from LR-NLR's business, convention and (now!) residential market.

It also probably wouldn't be needed once they eventually turn the old railroad bridge into a pedestrian bridge. But like I said I don't think I've heard of a water taxi before and wondered if it had ever been considered for the Little Rock area.

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It also probably wouldn't be needed once they eventually turn the old railroad bridge into a pedestrian bridge. But like I said I don't think I've heard of a water taxi before and wondered if it had ever been considered for the Little Rock area.

Yeah, good point about the pedestrian bridge as well. So, to answer your original question! : no, I have never heard that idea mentioned for LR-NLR.

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I saw this mentioned over in the Shreveport-Bossier City forum. But there was talk of a possible water taxi. I was curious if anyone had ever thought of somehting like this for Little Rock/North Little Rock. Does anyone think this would be a good idea? I don't think I've ever heard of a water taxi before.

OK City has a water taxi in Bricktown. Interesting website: Water Taxi

I don't know if it would work for LR.

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Interesting. I would have never thought of Oklahoma City. If they're doing to turn one of the old railroad bridges into a pedestrian bridge then I don't see much of a point. It might have been more useful of an idea in the past. The only other place I could think of that might be a possible site for this in Arkansas would perhaps be Ft Smith/Van Buren. I couldn't really see it in Russellville/Dardenelle or for that matter even Memphis/West Memphis.

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Interesting. I would have never thought of Oklahoma City. If they're doing to turn one of the old railroad bridges into a pedestrian bridge then I don't see much of a point. It might have been more useful of an idea in the past. The only other place I could think of that might be a possible site for this in Arkansas would perhaps be Ft Smith/Van Buren. I couldn't really see it in Russellville/Dardenelle or for that matter even Memphis/West Memphis.

The reason that it works in OKC is that they formed an artificial channel which is very narrow, and the taxi moves along it, not across it per se. The Arkansas River is 50 times wider and is of course a completely different scenario.

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Interesting. I would have never thought of Oklahoma City. If they're doing to turn one of the old railroad bridges into a pedestrian bridge then I don't see much of a point. It might have been more useful of an idea in the past. The only other place I could think of that might be a possible site for this in Arkansas would perhaps be Ft Smith/Van Buren. I couldn't really see it in Russellville/Dardenelle or for that matter even Memphis/West Memphis.

Well, it certainly wouldn't work in West Memphis to Memphis. In addition to the river, there's about 4 miles of swamp/cotton fields between downtown Memphis and West Memphis.

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Well, it certainly wouldn't work in West Memphis to Memphis. There's about 4 miles of swamp/cotton fields between the West bank of the Mississippi and West Memphis.

That and I'm not sure there's much going on in West Memphis either to justify it.

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A water taxi would be a stretch. But, anything is possible given the right twists to promote it. Some ideas being, it would be a good way to get from one side of the river to the other during Riverfest...set a schedule and run people to the USS Razorback and Travelers Games...The pedestrian bridge will certainly be an attraction unto itself, but not everyone will want to use it. With a water taxi, people could park at perhaps Murray Park and take the taxi to special events downtown (as opposed to riding the buses as they currently offer)...a taxi could be used simply for tours along the river. Just some thoughts.

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A water taxi would be a stretch. But, anything is possible given the right twists to promote it. Some ideas being, it would be a good way to get from one side of the river to the other during Riverfest...set a schedule and run people to the USS Razorback and Travelers Games...The pedestrian bridge will certainly be an attraction unto itself, but not everyone will want to use it. With a water taxi, people could park at perhaps Murray Park and take the taxi to special events downtown (as opposed to riding the buses as they currently offer)...a taxi could be used simply for tours along the river. Just some thoughts.

True, it's possible I guess. Although I also guess someone has to go out on a limb and actually try it out. Maybe at least talking about it could get some people interested.

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