The interior doors connecting the Pine Bluff Convention Center to the Plaza Hotel will be closed during University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Homecoming activities, an official said Wednesday.

The interior doors connecting the Pine Bluff Convention Center to the Plaza Hotel will be closed during University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Homecoming activities, an official said Wednesday.


Pine Bluff Convention Center Executive Director Bob Purvis told the joint meeting of the Civic Auditorium Complex Commission and the Advertising and Tourist Promotion Commission that he is making the move to minimize the potential for disruptions from the hotel.


"The exterior doors will, of course, be open, so if anybody from the hotel is trying to come to a homecoming event at the convention center, they will be able to do so," Purvis said.


"I have been contacted by representatives of the UAPB alumni association and they said that they want the doors closed," said Sheri Storie with the Pine Bluff Convention and Visitors Bureau. "They said that they don’t have any of their members staying there and they want to make sure that their activities at the convention center run smoothly."


"The hotel isn’t the center of homecoming activity anymore," Purvis said. "And that is a real shame. Back when the hotel had a bar and restaurant, there were literally thousands of UAPB alumni who attended functions there. But the current owners have gone a completely different route."


UAPB Homecoming week is Nov. 2-8.


In other business, Pine Bluff Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Greg Gustek said that the Arkansas Bass Nation Tournament was successfully held Oct. 3-4 in Pine Bluff.


"This was a joint sponsorship between the cities of Pine Bluff and White Hall," Gustek said. "The organization was professional and the participants were serious tournament bass fishermen."


Gustek said that the organization rotates across the state for their tournaments.


"It will be three years before we have a chance to get them again, but we want to be able to keep drawing back bass fishermen of this caliber," Gustek said.


Budget


Commissioner Joe Blackerby presented the group with the September financial report for the convention center.


Blackerby said that, as of Sept. 30, the convention center had revenues of $147,459 and expenses of $113,916 resulting in a positive balance of $33,543.


Advertising and Tourist Promotion Commission Chairman Bill Brumett said that food and beverage tax revenue is on track to be higher than last year.


Data from the September financial report for the Advertising and Tourist Promotion Commission show that current sales tax income is $140,239 and year-to-date is $1,216,720. Total current expenses are shown as $108,282 and year-to-date are $1,059,401.