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From the Capital Hotel to the River Market–A treat for the senses

Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Gretchen Hall, far left in doorway, and other Little Rock representatives welcomed delegates to the River Market event


Delegates to the Small Market Meetings Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, were treated to a wonderfully–executed destination dichotomy the second day of the event.   Following an afternoon of sightseeing, they were swept off their feet at a reception at this city’s historic Capital Hotel.   This graceful old hotel has been meticulously renovated and delegates were enthralled by its approachable elegance.

After an hour or more of drinks and hors d’oeurvres in its upstairs lobby and adjacent balcony, they barely had time to go to their rooms before a boisterous high school band met them head-on in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel and marched them down the street a few blocks to this city’s restored River Market.  This colorful old indoor market has a distinctly Mediterranean feel about it and dozens of small eateries and retail shops line its walls, creating the feel of a middle eastern bazaar.

In this delightful juxtaposition of settings, delegates relaxed and danced to the sounds of a local blues band, feasted on more foods and had open bars throughout the complex for their enjoyment.  It was as if Little Rock wanted these meeting planners to experience everything it had to offer from A to Z in one afternoon and evening of mind-blowing entertainment.  And it worked!

Blues rifts filled the River Market while delegates enjoyed one of Little Rock’s most eclectic downtown scenes


A few of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota delegation took in the fun at Little Rock’s River Market


Small Market Meetings editor Vickie Mitchell, left, talked with SMM Conference CEO Joe Cappuzzello and Little Rock CVB CEO Gretchen Hall

Mac Lacy

Mac Lacy is president and publisher of The Group Travel Leader Inc. Mac has been traveling and writing professionally ever since a two-month backpacking trip through Europe upon his graduation with a journalism degree from the University of Evansville in 1978.