by Shannon Cay
PONCA, Ark. – Two locals are inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame at the 44th annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism Monday.
The yearly honor is presented to people who have been actively involved in tourism for many years and who have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the industry as a whole.
Hall of Fame inductees this year include a local man, Mike Mills. He is the owner and founder of the Buffalo Outdoor Center in Ponca:
With 44 years in the business, Tourism officials say Mills has clocked in over 150-thousand hours for the tourism industry and has served more than 3 million guests.
Cathy Drew, executive director of the Ozark Gateway Tourist Council, also accepted her spot in the hall of fame. Drew’s contributions to the tourist council include converting the traditional tabloid-style publication into a magazine-format regional guidebook, opening a 24/7 welcome center, and significantly improving the region’s website.
The Conference on Tourism was held in West Memphis at Southland Park Gaming & Racing.