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City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

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Contact(s):Scott Whiteley Carter
City of Little Rock
501-371-4421

Ben Beaumont
LR Convention & Visitors Bureau
501-370-3291

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Monday, August 29, 2005

LITTLE ROCK OPENS DOORS TO HURRICANE EVACUEES

Little Rock, AR (29 August 2005) In light of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey today announced a series of initiatives aimed at making things easier for those who find themselves in Little Rock after evacuating portions of Louisiana and Mississippi. In a statement, the Mayor noted, "While we welcome these visitors to our City, obviously the timeframe for this stay was not of their own choosing. As they wait out the hurricane and its aftereffects, I wanted to extend this hospitality to them on behalf of all our citizens."

"While I realize that many people will want to stay close to a television or radio for the latest updates, I also know that after a while they will probably want to take a break. As Mayor, I am pleased to announce the following activities that are available which are free or are offering discounts to our visitors here because of Hurricane Katrina."

Free everyday

Arkansas Arts Center, 9th & Commerce; Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm,

Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center, 2125 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Dr.; Monday to Saturday, 9am-4:30pm; Sunday, 1pm-4:30pm

Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. 3rd St; Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm, Sunday, 1pm-5pm (a small fee is charged for tours, but the galleries have no charge)

MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, 503 E. 9th St; Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm; Sunday, 1pm-4pm

Old State House, 300 W. Markham St.; Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm, Sunday, 1pm-5pm

Showcase Arkansas Gallery, 120 Commerce; Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 9am-4pm

UALR Art Galleries, 2801 S. University-Fine Arts Building; Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday 10am-1pm; Sunday, 2pm-5pm



Specials for Hurricane Katrina visitors through September 2

Little Rock Zoo, #1 Jonesboro Drive; Monday-Sunday, 9am-5pm. Special group rate of $3.00 to adults with a valid Louisiana driver's license or children accompanied by an adult with a valid Louisiana or Mississippi driver's license.

Museum of Discovery, 500 President Clinton Avenue; Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 1pm-5pm. $1.00 off on every paid admission to anyone with a valid Louisiana or Mississippi driver's license or children accompanied by an adult with a valid Louisiana or Mississippi driver's license.

War Memorial Fitness Center, 300 S. Monroe; Monday-Friday, 5:30am-10pm; Saturday, 5:30am-6pm; Sunday, 5:30am-6pm. Persons displaced by Hurricane Katrina may use the War Memorial Fitness Center free of charge this week. To do so, they only need to show a valid Louisiana or Mississippi driver's license.



Parking

Little Rock Parking Enforcement will not be issuing parking tickets this week to cars with Louisiana or Mississippi license plates.



Little Rock hotels are filling up with refugees from Hurricane Katrina as Louisiana and Mississippi residents travel north to avoid the storm.

Many area hotels are already sold out while others still have availability.

The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) is monitoring hotel availability within the city and will continue to do so throughout the next several days. For visitors needing hotel information, please call the Little Rock Lodging Helpline at 1-800-844-4781. The Helpline provides information on hotel availability, pet-friendly hotels and other visitor information. It is open until 7:00 pm on Monday and will be open on Tuesday.

"The LRCVB is working in conjunction with our hotel community to provide hotel availability information, facilitate the booking process and assist our friends from the Gulf coast during this trying time," said Dan O'Byrne, chief executive officer of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"I am proud of how Little Rock has responded," said Mayor Dailey. "From volunteers with the Red Cross to utility workers, a number of our citizens are poised to go down there and help restore those basic necessities to the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. I am also proud to know that our hospitality and attraction industries in Little Rock are working to offer comfort and relief here. Perhaps most importantly, the compassionate smiles and words of encouragement extended by everyday men and women in Little Rock to our newest visitors are so significant."

"I think we can never underestimate the value of helping our neighbors. When Little Rock has been beset by disaster, it has been the knowledge that other people cared about us that has helped as we worked to return to daily routines. While I am sorry that this situation has occurred, I am grateful that we can repay in some small way, all that others have done for us," said the Mayor.

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