The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt in nearly every community both here and abroad. For attractions, restaurants, hotels, visitors, and event planners, navigating cancellations, reschedules, and making plans for the future have led to only one thing being certain, uncertainty. When to return to face-to-face meetings, when to resume travel, when to visit restaurants and attractions, and when to stay in a hotel are decisions everyone must weigh from a variety of angles.
Rogers and Northwest Arkansas are back to welcoming visitors, residents, and groups to our community in as safe an environment as we can provide. Our city and state leadership have implemented mask requirements to help our visitors and residents be safe. The City of Rogers also implemented the #keeprogerssafe campaign. This campaign is a voluntary public health campaign for Rogers businesses that encourages businesses to strictly enforce the public health directives and guidelines issued by Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Health.
As Rogers continues to re-open, Visit Rogers, a division of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, touched base with a few businesses in the community to showcase how they are taking measures to ensure safety of guests and sanitation of their facility.
New to Rogers this year is Topgolf. Located just south of the Walmart AMP in the Pinnacle Hills area, Topgolf is a game that anyone can play, even with no golfing ability! In this game, you score points by hitting micro-chipped golf balls at giant dartboard-like targets in the distance. The closer to the “bullseye” and the further the distance, the more points you earn.
Prior to the Rogers location, Topgolfs were only known for a 3-story, 72 golf bay venue. Rogers is proud to showcase the first location of their 2-story venue. Rather than building up, the Rogers venue is wider and still maintains 72 golf bays for visitors, 36 bays on each level that can accommodate 6 golfers per available bay.
While you golf, you can enjoy delicious bites and shareable plates, burgers and sandwiches, salads, and dessert. Topgolf Rogers serves Coca-Cola products as well as a full bar of beer, wine, and mixed cocktails. Join them on Tuesdays for “Half Price Tuesdays” where all game play is half priced. Check out their website for other specials and deals: https://topgolf.com/us/rogers-arkansas.
What Topgolf is doing in response to COVID-19
For a limited time, Topgolf Rogers is offering complimentary single bay reservations in an effort to maximize social distancing and walk-ins are now available. They provide an outdoor and spacious experience for all guests where staff has safely spaced hitting bays with protective bay dividers 11 feet from tee to tee. The entire venue is cleaned throughout the day and all common areas are regularly disinfected. Golf clubs, golf balls, game screens, and other frequently touched bay surfaces are disinfected between each group.
“We are excited to be open and we are committed to safely creating moments that matter for everyone!” says Director of Sales, Christy Marks.
Hobbs State Park - Conservation Area
Hobbs is Arkansas’s largest state park, spanning a 12,054-acre tract of Ozark landscape along the southern shore of Beaver Lake. It is an asset to the ecosystem and water with minimum human impact. Highlights of this day-use park include a diverse, 36-mile trail system with hiking, ADA, mountain biking (including two Monument Trails), and horseback riding trails, five primitive campsites, and a public outdoor shooting range (closed Mondays for maintenance). Hobbs is the only state park in Arkansas to allow regulated hunting. The visitor center includes exhibits about the park’s natural resources, limestone landscape, and history. Interpretive programs and workshops are offered throughout the year.
What Hobbs State Park is doing in response to COVID-19
Effective July 20, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson issued a mandatory mask mandate for residents and visitors in Arkansas. Everyone is required to wear masks in public spaces to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. To help slow the spread of COVID-19 the use of cloth face-coverings or masks are required to enter public buildings. The Hobbs State Park Visitors Center is open with limited capacity and hours, all trails are open, and day use areas are open.
All Arkansas State Parks remain available to visitors in a limited capacity during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Hobbs Park Superintendent Mark Clippinger says visitors are grateful to be outside and back around a few people but in a safe way.
“Just take a nice hike, sit down and listen to the birds, look at the overlooks and lake views and try to get away from the stress of what’s occurring now” he says.
Lodges, cabins, camper cabins, YURTs, Rent-A-RV, restaurants, marinas, golf pro shops, retail shops, and exhibitions are reopened. Some restrictions will be in place. Physical distancing will be enforced. Please call the park directly for facility hours, as some may be limited. Reservations at lodges, camper cabins, cabins, YURTs, and Rent-A-RVs are will be managed to allow 24-48 hours in between guests for thorough cleanings in between uses.
Primitive hike-in overnight campsite users must sign-in at the trailhead before occupying a primitive campsite in the park. Each site has multiple tent sites and metal grills, and available first come, first served.
Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas
As the largest hotel and convention center in Northwest Arkansas, the Embassy Suites and John Q. Hammons Convention Center is ready to welcome guests back to their property. Boasting over 125,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, the hotel and convention center is the perfect spot for your next socially distant meeting, event, or tradeshow.
Visit Rogers helps visiting groups with planning assistance and serves as a contact liaison throughout the process offering welcome tables and other marketing and public relations services.
What Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas is doing in response to COVID-19
Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas is taking steps to ensure your group can meet safely.
“We are ready to welcome you back to our safe environment. We have taken the extra steps through the COVID-19 crisis to implement the Atrium Hospitality Cleanliness Assured Program focused on additional sanitizing and cleaning procedures above the already clean and safe facility. Embassy Suites has also partnered with Lysol to develop a 'CleanStay' program. The Rogers area is ready for you to feel comfortable to bring your group here and enjoy all this great place has to offer,” says General Manager Larry Cooper.
Other precautions the Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas is taking for groups include:
•Prepackaged items for meals including boxed and pre-plated options
•Buffets with attendants
•Grab and go break stations with attendant
•Bar service with single service with ready to drink and batch cocktails
•Removing shareable items; pens, paper pads, water pitchers, table candy, etc.
•Meeting room set ups to accommodate for physical distancing for rounds, theater style seating and classroom style seating
•Virtual and no touch check in
•Increasing number and width of aisles in meeting room set ups
Nationally and locally the hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit industries by the pandemic. As a resident, Visit Rogers encourages you to be a tourist in our community and experience what our local businesses have to offer.