With an influx of alumni, family and friends to Harding for Spring Sing, it is no surprise that Searcy’s economy and community benefit from the weekend of celebration.
According to Shannon Kaies, general manager of Holiday Inn and Suites in Searcy, reservations pushed the hotel to full capacity for the weekend about three weeks before guests started making their way to town.
“Spring Sing is always one of the major weekends of our entire calendar year,” Kaies said. “It’s one of the city’s biggest weekends for generating revenue, because it’s such a big weekend for spending money.”
Kaies and her staff prepared by checking how many guests have booked a stay for the weekend and anticipating needs to make an enjoyable stay. Kaies said she makes sure extra breakfast, linens and goods are ordered ahead of time.
According to Kaies, hotel staff is also increased to manage the high number of guests and meet their needs.
Bethany Palmer, owner of Pasta Grill, makes similar provisions in preparing her restaurant for the weekend. Palmer’s husband anticipates the extra food to be ordered and additional staff is brought in to ensure maximum efficiency.
“This will be our sixth year in business during Spring Sing weekend,” Palmer said. “While there is usually a waiting list for Friday and Saturday night, we look at past years and new methods to determine how we can increase efficiency for getting our guests in and out quickly.”
Searcy Mayor David Morris said Spring Sing is an important event for the Searcy and White County economy and community. Morris also highlighted the weekend’s spiritual benefit to the area as the community comes together to celebrate Easter.
“It brings so many people into town and brings such a captive audience,” Morris said. “With students from so many areas, we pull people from all across the nation to come and be here in Searcy. It fills our motels and hotels up, including in surrounding cities. Spring Sing is so good for us both economically and spiritually.”
Palmer said whether it is through business interaction or through interaction as a community member, Spring Sing gives visitors an idea of what Searcy is really about.
“Spring Sing is a weekend that we get to showcase some of the best things about Searcy — some of the things we choose to celebrate and showcase in life,” Palmer said. “It really comes down to the relationships and the people of Searcy, and that is what is highlighted in our community during the Spring Sing weekend.”