After temporarily closing March 20 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Arkansas Welcome Centers are once again open to the public, according to a news release.
Travelers can now stop at a welcome center for trip planning advice, tourism information and the opportunity to stretch their legs while on the road, a spokesman said.
“Arkansas is one of the nation’s most beautiful and inviting destinations,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “Arkansas Welcome Centers offer our guests a friendly entry to The Natural State, as well as a rest and information stop to gather travel planning materials and advice.”
To safely re-open, the centers are monitoring the number of visitors inside the building at one time, frequently cleaning restrooms and common areas, and requiring the use of face masks when a safe physical distance cannot be achieved.
“Arkansas Welcome Centers serve as a one-stop resource for travelers hoping to find information on the many attractions, restaurants and lodging options in the state, not to mention the many scenic trails, rivers and lakes that make The Natural State an appealing destination,” said Travis Napper, director of Arkansas Tourism.
The centers are located at strategic points of entry on major highways and interstates coming into the state. Twelve of the 14 sites are a partnership between the Arkansas Department of Transportation and the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. One center, Mammoth Spring, is a partnership with Arkansas State Parks. All are staffed by certified U.S. Travel Association travel counselors.
Welcome center staff share their expertise of Arkansas with more than one million travelers annually. Each center offers free Wi-Fi as well as interesting exhibits spotlighting local history. Complimentary travel magazines and guides, various brochures and highway maps are available to guests. Arkansas Welcome Centers are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week and are closed on major holidays.