Spring River businesses ‘breaking records’ with extended holiday weekend

Published: Jul. 3, 2023 at 6:39 PM CDT
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HARDY, Ark. (KAIT) - As Independence Day approaches, many businesses along the Spring River have seen tens of thousands of people travel through their doors.

In Hardy, multiple businesses have said this year has either broken or nearly broken a record.

Rooms at the Spring River Lodge in Hardy have had limited space or have been full the last few days.

“All weekend, we didn’t have any rooms available. We are seeing a lot of repeat customers,” said Lodge Manager Dana Horrell.

Horrell said she believes there’s a reason behind the extra business over the last few years.

“I believe that we are busier now than in the last few years. COVID kind of put a quietus to everything,” Horrell said.

Lodging isn’t the only business on the river that’s busy.

Rhonda Messer and her husband own Kozie’s Country Market and Spring River Draft House in Hardy and say business has been steady.

“Foot traffic is different. It’s constant, not overbearing, but it’s been a really good weekend,” Messer explained.

Messer said the Fourth of July falling on a Tuesday has been an added benefit for her business.

“When the Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday, it’s kind of hard for us because you get two regular weekends. When it falls on this Tuesday, we’re getting this huge weekend,” Messer added.

The Hardy Sweet Shop on Main Street was full of people looking for a sweet treat on Monday afternoon.

Manager Kirsten Medlock said this is the busiest she’s ever seen the shop.

“It’s been crazy busy. It’s just gotten crazier over the summer,” Medlock explained.

Medlock said people from all over the globe have stopped in.

“I’ve had people coming in from Michigan, but we also have people who are from different countries,” she said.

Mayor Ethan Barnes said he expected this summer would be another record-breaking year for the city and was a sign of growth in the area.