Arkansas State Parks Launches New Design for the Official Web Site for Arkansas's 52 State Parks

For Immediate Release

(Little Rock)
--ArkansasStateParks.com, the official Web site for Arkansas’s 52 state parks, now features a striking new design that was just launched by its designer, Aristotle Internet of Little Rock. According to State Parks Director Greg Butts, “Arkansas’s state parks comprise one of the finest systems of parks and museums in the nation. Our online portal to the state parks has evolved to match that. This new design is beautiful, user friendly, easy to navigate and power packed with photos and details.” He noted that in today’s world the Internet plays such an important role in decision-making including travel planning. Research shows that for over two-thirds of active travelers, it’s the exclusive source of information for planning both business and leisure travel. Butts said that much thought went into this design where fees and charges, book online features including photographs of overnight and day-use facilities available for rent, and a calendar of events are a quick click away.

Butts emphasized, “ArkansasStateParks.com allows you to look at photos of the parks, the campsites, cabins, lodge rooms and group facilities and make reservations online right there from the site.” The ResEze Web booking engine is linked to the Northwind Maestro Property Management System utilized by the camping, cabin and lodge parks. Reservations can be made 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for up to a year in advance for individual reservations. Utilizing this online reservation system is the fastest, cheapest method for making reservations by out-of-state and in-state visitors. Through the online reservation system, you can see maps of the campgrounds and if you want to reserve a specific campsite, then call the park to make that request.

Butts continued, “When Arkansans visit this Web site, it will swell their state pride as they are reminded of what a beautiful state they call home and what wonderful state parks they have.”

He said, “And when folks from out of state visit the site, the main page will give them a dramatic first impression of Arkansas. They will see our state is rich in natural beauty with mountains and sweeping vistas, delta lands teeming with wildlife, and clear lakes and streams to fish and float. And they’ll see that we offer a wide diversity of park facilities and outdoor activities to experience throughout the seasons.”

The homepage features 23 photos in a Flash format that represent the natural beauty and historic treasures in the state parks system. Information about each photo and access to creating computer wallpaper and e-postcards from the images is available by clicking the Photo Info button. The homepage also offers five short, stunning videos that present the wide diversity of activities to be enjoyed in the state parks.

Other features on the homepage include links to booking your stay online, booking vacation and getaway packages that include visits to the state parks, purchasing gift certificates that can be used for lodging, food, gifts or other purchases in the parks and a sign up for e-mail newsletters.

According to Marla Johnson-Norris, chief executive officer for Aristotle, the site’s visually appealing redesign includes Flash photography and online videos featured on the main page. More photography including 360 degree panoramic views are located within the site. The design is supported by cutting-edge programming that makes it quick and easy to navigate. She said, “With the new .Net programming, ArkansasStateParks.com has the capability to handle larger amounts of site traffic more effectively and efficiently. The new programming supports faster page loading, document and multimedia downloads and increased Web site security, creating an overall more productive Web site.”

According to Joe Jacobs, manager of Marketing and Revenue for Arkansas State Parks, “Amendment 75, Arkansas’s conservation amendment that was passed by voters in November 1996, is funding renovations and new facilities and other improvements around the parks system. Arkansas State Parks is experiencing one of the most exciting development phases in its history. This new Web site showcases those improvements.”

He continued, “And as we look forward to next year’s 75th anniversary of Arkansas’s state parks system, this Web site is a touchstone to the past and a call to the future.”

A navigation bar across the main page gives viewers a choice of seven main areas: “Park Finder,” “Camping, Cabins & Lodges,” “Things To Do,” “Meetings, Reunions & Weddings,” “Trip Ideas,” “News” and “Education.” Drop down menus help viewers get to the details they need. The “Park Finder” section features a state map to quickly locate each of the 52 state parks and go to that park’s Web page or individual Web site that is the case for the larger parks. It allows multiple ways of finding the Arkansas State Parks. The Advanced Search button allows you to find the park with exactly the facilities and amenities you want. The Find a Park near You button lets you look for parks in a specified radius from your home or other Arkansas vacation spot. Use the map to find a park location based on highways or a particular part of the state. Or, utilize the dot chart to find a park by name or type of facilities offered.

“Camping, Cabins & Lodges” includes details and photographs of the campsites at 28 parks, cabins in nine parks, and hotel-like lodges with full-service restaurants and meeting facilities featured at five parks. It also includes information about other smaller and private group lodging facilities where bunk beds, kitchens and group dining halls are available for rent. Accessibility for visitors with disabilities is other helpful information.

“Things To Do” includes the details about trails, lake tours, watchable wildlife, senior workshops and Elderhostel programs, geocaching and kid’s stuff that links to a special Web site for young people with state park and Arkansas facts, games and downloads, and family trip ideas. This section also includes the calendar of events. The state parks offer over 40,000 programs and events each year for the enjoyment and education of park visitors. The calendar of events allows visitors to search for programs and events by subject, park or date. “Meetings, Reunions & Weddings” provides details on park facilities that can accommodate conferences, corporate meetings, family get-togethers and other group activities. Information is included about banquet and catering services provided by the state park lodge restaurants. “Trip Ideas” features seven road trip itineraries for those who enjoy scenic drives. Details include each route’s map and description, travel time and sights you’ll see along the way. “News” provides information on the latest happenings in the parks. One part of this is designed for the public. The other is for the print and electronic news media to access and download the latest news releases sent out by the state parks director’s office in Little Rock. “Education” is the section designed to help teachers plan a visit with their students to a park. The state parks comprise Arkansas’s largest, resource-based education organization. For teachers and student they are unique learning centers where you can join trained park naturalists and historians in a variety of hands-on experiences. Here in this section are teacher workbooks, ideas for field trips and more.

Vacation and getaway packages are also listed in the Web site. Each package’s description and price are included and viewers can go ahead and book them online.

For those who would like to share the gift of a favorite state park with friends or family, Arkansas State Parks gift certificates can be ordered online from the Web site. Some of the most popular uses for Arkansas State Parks gift certificates are camping, lodging, golfing, boating and shopping in the parks.

The linking policy page allows other Web sites and bloggers to create attractive links to ArkansasStateParks.com Along with the main Web site, ArkansasStateParks.com, Arkansas State Parks has 11 other sites devoted to individual state parks and activities. They are: CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com, DeGray.com; HistoricWashingtonStatePark.com; MountMagazineStatePark.com, OzarkFolkCenter.com; PetitJeanStatePark.com, QueenWilhelmina.com; AdventureStateParks.com; HistoryStateParks.com and MountainStateParks.com. LakeandRiverStateParks.com is under construction.

For further information, contact: Joe Jacobs, manager of Marketing and Revenue, Arkansas State Parks, One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, phone: (501) 682-6923, e-mail: joseph.jacobs@arkansas.gov. For further information, contact: Joe Jacobs, manager of Marketing and Revenue, Arkansas State Parks, One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, phone: (501) 682-6923, e-mail: joseph.jacobs@arkansas.gov.

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