Speaking to members of the Van Buren Advertising & Promotion Commission and other local leaders Thursday at the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce, Rice said the bill from state Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, R-Pocahontas, “can really undo a lot of hard work done by thousands of folks.”Dailey also spoke, though not quite so directly on the bathroom bill. However, he was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who opposed Collins-Smith's bill.
“We’ve had some political issues coming up in the Legislature that have threatened to harm everything we’ve done for the last 30 years,” Rice said of what he called “the bathroom bill.” “We have spent literally millions of dollars trying to establish a positive image of Arkansas out there. People think that Arkansas is a good place to come and that bathroom bill could jeopardize all of that.”
Dailey, who was mayor of Little Rock for 14 years, will carry on the torch as tourism director at the beginning of 2018. Dailey said it is important for people to develop relationships with legislators and let them know the specifics of what tourism means to Arkansas.
“So when issues come up, whether it’s the bathroom bill or whether it’s one that threatens other aspects of tourism initiatives in Arkansas, they’ll know who you are and they will hopefully respond favorably at that time,” Dailey said.