04.27.2023 Blog

Experience Fayetteville earns top honors at ARGovCon23

A great thing about this business is the variety of work that comes from having a broad client roster. Each client is like a cherished child and as is the case with most families that have children, the parents are proud when their children earn accolades and acknowledgments.

Like a parent, a good agency nurtures and guides from the background, leaving the client to shine in the foreground with deliverables that amplify the brand or solve some problem.

Earlier this year, Sells Agency joined Experience Fayetteville at the 49th annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism where the destination marketing organization was named Tourism Organization of the Year and also claimed The Natural State Tourism Development Award for Art Court, a unique basketball court enhanced with murals, sculpture, and a virtual reality experience.

We watched with pride as CEO Molly Rawn accepted the Tourism Organization of the Year award and we were honored when she invited us to join her on stage with the Experience Fayetteville marketing team to accept The Natural State Tourism Development Award.

2023 Henry Awards Experience Fayetteville Tourism

Experience Fayetteville Staff at 2023 Arkansas Governors Conference on Tourism

Sells Agency Staff Members attend Henry Awards Presentation at 2023 Arkansas Governors Conference on Tourism

The Tourism Organization of the Year honor is presented to “a convention and visitors bureau, advertising and promotion commission, chamber of commerce or other entity for excellence over the course of the previous year.”

After a pandemic wreaked havoc on the tourism and hospitality industry, we were excited to be a part of a 2022 that was filled to the brim with innovative initiatives and events that set Fayetteville apart from its peers. We were able to help draw visitors from around the state, nation and world, leading to the breaking of HMR (Hotel, Motel, Restaurant) tax records with a 144% year-over-year increase in lodging HMR tax collections for January 2022 and a 10.5% increase in sales tax revenue compared with January 2021.

Fayetteville hotels, motels, and short-term rentals collected more HMR taxes in January 2022 than in any other January, as thousands of fans, cyclists, team personnel, officials, and vendors filled up rooms across the city for the 2022 Walmart UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships. Luckily, we booked early to be on-site to provide constant support and also enjoy the historic event that was held on U.S. soil for only the second time in its 72-year history.

Experience Fayetteville’s ArtCourt earned The Natural State Tourism Development Award as an “innovative project with a unique appeal or creative approach that increases pride and placemaking.”

If the agency is the parent and the client is the child, Experience Fayetteville is the energetic and eclectic arts and music lover in our family, so it was no surprise that they partnered with the Tyson Family Foundation to build ArtCourt, an immersive and experiential community space that plays at the intersection of art and sport.

It was also no surprise that the project won the honor. And even though there was stiff competition from other great Arkansas cities, like a proud parent, we already knew, ours was best in show.