Fort Smith and our region benefit tremendously from conventions and events brought to our area. Attracting and retaining these happenings relies on the efforts of everyone in the hospitality industry, and in our community. Community members who help bring conventions and events to Fort Smith are an important part of this! Each quarter, the Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau names one such proactive person a Hometown Hospitality Hero. All our Hometown Hospitality Heroes receive recognition on our blog, in the City of Fort Smith’s Fast Focus newsletter, in our social media, and annually at our big GRIT Awards ceremony. These people are awesome, so tell them you appreciate their efforts!
Our newest Hometown Hospitality Hero is Daniel Shue, Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Fort Smith and also President of Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney’s Association (APAA) for 2014. Dan is responsible for bringing the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney’s Association here to Fort Smith in both 2012 and 2014.
This year’s event was held October 15 through October 17, 2014.
Dan has served as the elected Prosecuting Attorney since January 1, 2009, has served as Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for 6 years, and has served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for 13 years. Shue was also in private practice for 6 years and has a total of 30 years experience as an attorney.
After serving one year as the Prosecuting Attorney for Fort Smith, he joined the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney’s Board in 2010. It was at this time Dan began suggesting Fort Smith as the site for their next conference. In the 40 year history of the APAA, it had never held a conference in Fort Smith. Both the fall conferences for 2012 and 2014 were held in Fort Smith because Dan took the initiative to put forth Fort Smith as their convention site. Some additional impetus to that which created a “perfect storm” of sorts was that Dan was elected President of the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney’s Association in 2014 so
it seemed particularly fitting that the convention be held here.
Attendees were impressed with our abundance of history and historic sites. They were pleased to discover many wonderful restaurants including 21 West End. From a legal standpoint, attendees were amazed at the extent of legal history in our area as well as the fact that the United States District Court in Fort Smith exercised legal jurisdiction over the entire Oklahoma Territory. Another “favorite’ of Fort Smith’s attractions was the Belle Grove Historic District and the Fort Smith National Historic Site.
Many of the Convention attendees participated in a historic reenactment of an actual trial that originally occurred in Judge Parker’s court room. This reenactment was held in the beautiful old courtroom in the Sebastian County Courthouse, built in the 1930s. It was both entertaining and informative to see justice delivered as it was in the 1800s.
Dan commented that America is about choices…and he chooses to live and raise his family in Fort Smith!
He was so pleased to hear attendees say great things about his hometown…everyone thoroughly enjoyed Fort Smith. He talks about the fact that people in law work with things that are broken: contracts, marriages and laws. It was so refreshing for the association members to experience the natural beauty of our area and hospitality of the people.
The opening party was held at 21 West End where everyone enjoyed a great dinner. The APAA Advisory Committee party was a unique affair whose theme was Halloween, since Halloween was just around the corner….everyone came in costume. Both of these elements added fun and “magic” to the conference.
Room nights generated by Arkansas Prosecuting attorneys were about 175, which resulted in a Direct Economic Impact of $26,250 for the 2014 convention. Total Economic Impact created by the convention is approximately $79,000. If you double that to include the 2012 convention your economic impact is about $158,000. Thanks Daniel Shue for bringing the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney’s Association Conventions to our area! Not to mention–2016 looks promising!