Record-Breaking Nominations for 2015 GRIT Awards Finalists!


After receiving more than 300 nominations from the public, we at The Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau are proud to announce the finalists for the, “4th Annual Giving Recognition In Tourism (GRIT) Awards. These men, women, businesses, and organizations have demonstrated true grit through their contributions to the region’s growing tourism and hospitality industry.

Awards will be presented during a private celebratory ceremony on April 23rd, 2015. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. inside of Fort Smith’s MovieLounge, located at 7601 Rogers Ave. The 2015 GRIT Award FINALISTS in each category, are:

Restaurant Partner of the Year (No Specific Order):

Bricktown Brewery

Calico County Restaurant

R. Landry’s New Orleans Cafe

River City Deli

Lodging Partner of the Year (No Specific Order):

Comfort Inn and Suites

Courtyard by Marriott

Hampton Inn Fort Smith

 Attraction Partner of the Year (No Specific Order):

Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority (Chaffee Crossing)

Fort Smith Regional Art Museum

The Park at West End

Business Partner of the Year (No Specific Order):

Arvest Bank

BrickCity Emporium

Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine

Mercy Fort Smith

 Polly Crews Hospitality Person of the Year (No Specific Order):

Desiree Arizmendi

Patricia Brown

Patrick Pendleton

Jim Spears

Robert Westphal Family

During the event, the Fort Smith CVB will also showcase the past year’s Hometown Hospitality Heroes; individuals who played a critical role in bringing conferences and events to the city. Honorees include: Kermit Walsh, Jackie Hoffarth, Larry Rhodes, Bill Ladd, Dan Shue, Alie Bahsoon, and Patrick Pendleton.

“We are pleased by the number of nominations we received for this year’s, ‘GRIT Awards,’ because it shows an ever-increasing passion – on the part of a lot of people – in moving Fort Smith’s outstanding hospitality industry forward. Partnerships are an important part of our industry’s success.”


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