Hot Springs says tournaments help boost venues

 HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Tourist venues around Hot Springs enjoyed higher-than-normal attendance figures so far this spring because of 2 major basketball tournaments and other events. The Sun Belt Conference basketball tournament drew 42,193 while the state high school basketball championships drew 64,194. Oaklawn Park had 92,000 visitors from March 5 to 15 and the Environmental and Spatial Technology conference drew about 2,000.

The figures don't include attendance at the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade. The crowd was estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000.

Steve Arrison, the director of the city's convention and visitors bureau, is hopeful Hot Springs will still benefit later from publicity it received this month.

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