After 58 years in Hot Springs, the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant will relocate to the state’s capital city next year, its board said Wednesday.
The annual pageant will now be held at the Robinson Center in Little Rock, which is currently in the final stages of a multi-million dollar renovation effort, according to the Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs.
Inability to accommodate a proposed date shift from July to June put Spa City in jeopardy of losing its decades-long reign as host city, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported.
Because of contracts with clients that extend as far out as 2025, the Hot Springs Convention Center was unable to meet the needs of pageant organizers.
The Miss Arkansas board had sent requests for proposals to Conway, Hot Springs, Little Rock and North Little Rock.
"We listened to the proposals with open minds and sifted through them with a fine toothed comb," said Kelly Bales, president of the Miss Arkansas Pageant Board of Directors, in a statement to the Sentinel-Record. "In the end, the results were clearly defined and although we cherish the past, we must embrace the future."
Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, said the convention and visitor's bureau "worked hard to keep the pageant in the city that has been its home for more than a half century," acknowledging scheduling conflicts.
"We understand the pageant organizers’ decision and wish the pageant continued success in its new location. And we will work hard to get the pageant back for Hot Springs if the organizers ever decide to change their minds," Arrison said.
Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.Gallery: Miss Arkansas 2016