“We are so excited to announce that we have recruited Lacy Mitchell to join our team as the Ozark Gateway Region Travel Writer,” said Crystal Crow, OGT Board President. “I’ve known and worked with Lacy for several years, especially at her full time reporter job. She is a lot of fun to work alongside. She has the ability, a spark if you will, to make each of her stories come to life. This gift is bound to create inquiries and more interest in our region as she travels, blogging about her experiences in our eight county region. In fact, her passion for writing is why she’s a perfect fit for our board. We have an amazing group of people on our board that work together promoting our region, each with his/her own set of talents. Each one is passionate about what our area has to offer visitors and how we can continue to grow tourism in our corner of the state.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Lacy Mitchell, 34, spent most of her life in the hills of Lawrence County. Today, she lives in Cave City, the home of "World's Sweetest Watermelons," in what's known as the Prince Matlock house.
Its former owner, Charles Prince Matlock, helped create what's known as the Cave Courts where the city's cave lies above the Crystal River. He fashioned his home in another part of town out of the same rocks and materials that are found among the cave's property, and she feels blessed to now be its caretaker for many more years to come.
A lover of the past, who can often be found perusing the flea markets and junk shops that make up the Ozark Gateway region, Lacy, former reporter for the Batesville Daily Guard newspaper, is excited to join the tourist council as its newest travel writer.
“I am so excited at the opportunities that await and those that are sure to come by surprise in this new venture as I find ways to highlight what I believe are some of the beautiful things this region has to offer, all while having fun. "I might even surprise myself and learn something I never knew about our wonderful region," Mitchell says.
Although created under a generic name, the roots of the Ozark Gateway Tourist Council can be traced to 1961, when the first multi-county organization was created to promote springtime travel in Stone, Independence, Sharp, Izard and Fulton counties.
First called the “Area Tourist Committee,” the tourism panel operated with volunteers from each of the five original counties serving as a non-profit agency promoting springtime tourism during the dogwood season. The tourism board was part of a University of Arkansas-sponsored Area Development Council, which had been formed in 1959 as a national pilot program to help rural America. Leo Rainey (1932-2004) was the agent in charge, stationed in Batesville. His office was the headquarters of the group during the first ten years.
Ozark Gateway Region was the second regional tourism group recognized by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. The Greers Ferry Lake and Little Red River Association was the first. The Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism now features 12 regional associations across Arkansas.
The current region is non-profit and comprised of 8 counties, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Randolph, Sharp & Stone Counties in North Arkansas and their goal is to promote this area to help increase visitors and individuals interested in relocation to the section of the state.
For more information about area attractions or being included in the upcoming 2019 region magazine call 1-800-264-0316 or visitwww.ozarkgateway.com