Tourism and the Economy of Sharp Co.

With natural ameninties like the Spring River, the beautiful scenery, and the cave in Cave City it's easy to understand the draw to the quaint area.

But what does all that tourism do for the area?

If you've ever been to the Spring River or camping in Hardy... or took a stroll down their Main St. and bought a unique find and thought it was all just to have a good time... well you did more than you thought.

Mayor Nina Thornton and Cheryl Ward says their town of Hardy is kept alive because of the tourism.

"Tourism is a huge part of this area, that is what drives our economy for our entire state."

"We do rely very heavily on tourism in our area because we don't have a lot of businesses or economy that supports here."

Sharp Co. Judge Larry Brown says Hardy, along with many other cities in sharp county rely on tourism to bring money and potential residents to the area.

"it seems to me like we've had a lot of people move in from other states because the taxes are a little cheaper, the environment, the atmosphere the property is cheaper. But it's a great place, anybody that comes and visits there's just so many things to do.and a nice friendly environment that i think we are a secret waiting to be found out."

But, as Cheryl Ward explained, not everyone wants the secret of sharp county to be told.

"You know if you talk to someone who was born and raised here they are going say I want it to stay just like it is cuz it's already big enough for me because I like the way it was when I was little."

Sharp County is using tourism and the money it brings in to not only benefit themselves but help turn that back around and help their visitors. Hardy Mayor, Nina Thornton says the A & P tax has been a huge benefit for their area.

"And we also have the advertising and promotion tax that means that 1.875 of every dollar that is spent in Hardy on tourism goes to help upkeep our parks."

"Hopefully the parks and tourism and the things they do to get people to come to Arkansas and stay in Arkansas will continue to work."

And they continue to make their county more appealing to tourist and safer.

"We're trying to fund a 100,000 dollar warning system that will be put above us on the Spring River that will give us a warning of 2 hours so everyone can be warned and get out in time during an emergency."

Something the city needed months ago.