Spring Break

by Daddy Warbucks

That’s how one local travel agent summed it up. He was hoping, perhaps against all hope, for another cash stimulus out of Washington, D.C. to salvage Spring Break 2009.

Already tanning booth owners and bikini outfitters are signaling that Spring Break 2009 may not be in full swing. Out of country travel will be down. Florida and South Texas destinations may be the rage due to reasonable gasoline prices. But those trips to the Caribbean, well forget about it unless Mommy and Daddy are providing the Jack.

But even Mommy and Daddy are feeling the pinch. For several seasons one travel agent said he booked resorts, flights and hotels, handed the college kids a bill and 90 percent of them came back and paid with cash. Now he’s getting e-mails and calls asking him to trim the costs or find Sally and Junior a little less expensive Spring Break getaway. Those with younger kids are wanting to chomp the prices and extra nights being offered at Disney and other resorts, but alas, the fine print cancels out Spring Break dates. But remember kids, the NWA Water Park opens April 1. Get it? April 1.

Big Question

What percentage of commuting Americans would give up part of their morning routine — TV, time with family, showering … showering? — to have a clear ride to work? Answer at the end.

Geo Photo

David Pincus of Fayetteville, received a top honor in National Geographic’s “Visions of Paradise” photography contest. Pincus was one of 20 winning. He captured an image of the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island, Brooklyn, N.Y. To view Pincus’ photograph, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/myvision. 

Told You

Daddy W. predicted it and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals have delivered. The Naturals are offering a new budget-friendly, eight-game plan that includes weekend games and Wednesday games, which feature giveaways or entertainment. The cost is either $80 a seat for premium seats or $56 for reserved seats. There are four schedule options available, with seven set dates on each schedule and one flex ticket that can be used for any game during the season. Fans can purchase the new mini-pack by calling 927-4900 or on the Web site, nwanaturals.com. 

Big Ouch

At press time, it looks like one local institution of the perspiring arts, the always packed and popular Fayetteville Athletic Club, may befall a foreclosure effort. The culprit is the now failed ANB financial institution. The couple who operate the facility, Bob and Katherine Shoulders, vow to keep going. Good luck.

Big Mess

Will there be a Fayetteville Arts Festival? What happened to the “seed money” given by the city? Will there ever be an accounting? Stay turned.

Bigger Mess

Bikes, Blues and BBQ looks like the fourth biggest mess in the entire United States. How can an event supposedly pump $30 million into the NWA economy for four or five days, clog traffic, fill hotels and motels up to 60 miles away, and not make money? Someone needs to ask some really hard questions.

Wright Stuff

Diana Wright, founder of The Right Solutions of Tontitown, which handles scheduling, housing and travel arrangements for temporary-duty nurses in all 50 states, was named Arkansas Business Executive of the Year by the Arkansas Business Publishing Group.

Hino Woes

Remember boys and girls, when East Arkansas was banking on that Hino Plant to be their cash cow? Now it looks more like another unemployment line. Hino Motors Manufacturing laid off 157 workers at its east Arkansas plant in Marion. The factory produces axles for Toyota Motors. After the layoffs were announced last week, the plant has 410 workers.  Hino says the layoffs are permanent. 

Big Answer

A whopping 67 percent of Americans who commute say they would make sacrifices to get a clear drive to work each day.

Categories: Features