I won’t reveal his true identity, but a certain friend of AMP — let’s call him John — came up with a brilliant tagline the other day in the parking lot. Well, more like a few days before Christmas, but it was genius nonetheless.
“2020,” he offered in a moment of inspiration: “Our vision is clear.”
Soak it in. And then adopt it for your very own. Imagine it hovering still, there for the taking, in the winter air over downtown Little Rock. A belated Christmas present. Resolutions were never my thing, but that’s good stuff. 2020 — Our Vision Is Clear.
AMP remains quasi-fledgling; this summer will mark its second full year post-reincarnation as a print publication. But our vision indeed is clear. We’ve hit some speed bumps on the way to this “2020” vision and certainly more await, but our path stretches before us, clearly defined and reaching for the horizon.
We believe there’s an opening in Arkansas for a monthly print pub to tell the stories behind the state’s business and political leaders — the influencers. (Some of whom are introduced inside as part of our inaugural Arkansas “Influencers.”)
And AMP is attempting to fill this gap. Thanks for joining us on the adventure.
For decades, Fort Smith was firmly established as Arkansas’ second city. Not only was its population second to Little Rock, the prep football success of both Northside and Southside delivered significant cultural street cred, and the city also carried the clout of serving as the de facto capital of western Arkansas.
But then Northwest Arkansas became a thing, and Fort Smith was relegated to its shadow. Drivers veering right at Alma to hit the new freeway could easily overlook Fort Smith, tucked away down a bypass a few minutes on. For many Arkansans, the state essentially ended at Alma once NWA’s population growth began reflecting its emergence as a business leviathan.
But Fort Smith never regressed; it just struggled to keep up with NWA. And who wouldn’t? My stint at the Southwest Times Record 30 years ago includes some of my best professional memories. And for those past three decades, Fort Smith (never Ft. Smith) has remained a great place to live and do business, just maybe on a quieter scale.
As part of our economic development focus inside, Dwain Hebda takes a look at the hanging judge’s old town, from downtown to Chaffee Crossing, where business is good.
The Hamburger Bar(n) is no longer around (downtown anyway), but Google tells me Arlie Muck’s on Garrison is open, still. We’ll call it a draw.
As always, hit me up with any comments, questions, concerns, pitches or vents: firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Mark Carter