JUN 2012

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Home ALABAMA ARKANSAS FLORIDA GEORGIA KENTUCKY LOUISIANA MISSISSIPPI NORTH CAROLINA OKLAHOMA SOUTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE TEXAS VIRGINIA WEST VIRGINIA Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase INSIDER'S GUIDE By T. Wayne Waters Northwest Arkansas Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is now open in Bentonville, Ark., with free admission and interestingly designed event spaces. Talk to anyone in Northwest Arkansas these days and the conversation is sure to quickly turn to Bentonvilleʼs Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The high-caliber gallery made its debut in November 2011, garnering praise from all over the world. "Crystal Bridges provides an aura we havenʼt had in the past," said Bentonville CVB President Kalene Griffith. "Weʼve always been a business destination as the home of Walmart but now weʼre becoming a true leisure destination." The editors at Travel + Leisure apparently agree. Bentonville was included in the magazineʼs 12 hottest travel destinations of 2012, the only U.S. destination on the list. On 120 forested acres in a remote, park-like setting, the museum is nestled in a ravine in an area with three-and-a-half miles of trails. "The setting is extraordinarily beautiful," said Crystal Bridges Director of Communications Laura Jacobs. "Itʼs heavily forested. The trails feature native flora and fauna. This is a one-of-a-kind facility in this area of Arkansas. There are great places all over the state, but I think the way weʼve combined art, architecture and nature that allows visitors to be part of a unique experience." Crystal Bridges offers considerable flexibility for different sized groups. One space, the Great Hall, offers soaring pine ceilings while floor-to-ceiling windows offer gorgeous views of Crystal Bridgesʼ restaurant, bridge and pond. It seats 300, auditorium style, can handle 250 for a reception, 200 for a seated dinner, and 160 for a buffet. Crystal Bridges Museum of Art 30 ConventionSouth JUNE 2012 www.con v

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