2019 GRIT Awards

Congratulations 2019 GRIT Award Finalists!

On November 7th, 2019, the Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau will host the 2019 GRIT (Giving Recognition In Tourism) Awards banquet at 5:30 PM inside of the Fort Smith Convention Center. The event honors businesses, organizations and individuals that have gone above-and-beyond the call of duty as it relates to their contributions to the region’s tourism and hospitality industry.

This year's nominations have been reviewed and we are ready to announce our 2019 GRIT Award finalists! But first, we would like to invite the public to help determine this year's award recipients by voting for your favorite finalists in each category by October 15, 2019! For those planning to attend the banquet, kindly RSVP by this date, as well. To vote and/or RSVP, simply click the correlating button below:


Without further ado, CONGRATULATIONS to our 2019 GRIT Award Finalists (in no specific order):

Lodging Partner of the Year

  • Courtyard by Marriott Fort Smith Downtown
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Fort Smith
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

Attraction Partner of the Year

  • Parrot Island Waterpark
  • The Clayton House
  • Riverfront Skate & Bike Park

Restaurant Partner of the Year

  • 21 West End
  • The Hall at Taliano’s
  • Neumeier’s Rib Room & Papa’s Pub

Business Partner of the Year

  • Chaffee Redevelopment Authority
  • Westphal Properties
  • First National Bank of Fort Smith

Polly Crews Hospitality Person of the Year

  • Cody Faber—Fort Smith National Historic Site
  • Beth Price—Belle Starr Antiques
  • Lorie Roberson—Chaffee Redevelopment Authority

New Horizons Award

  • Fort Smith Parks & Recreation
  • Harry's Downtown
  • 906 Cocktail & Cigar Lounge
  • The Majestic
  • Samuel M. Sicard Hall of Honor


During the event, Fort Smith CVB will also recognize the 2019 Hometown Hospitality Heroes—selected by Fort Smith CVB staff—who played a critical role in promoting the city as a business/leisure travel destination and/or bringing convention groups to Fort Smith. The 2019 Hometown Hospitality Heroes include Bradley Martin, President of Fort Smith Trolley Museum; Tim Allen, President & CEO of Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce; the entire Fort Smith Parks & Recreation team; Heroes We Remember, In Memoriam to Bill Neumeier, Linda Seubold, Robert (Bob) Redo, and Brenda Payne.

Tickets are $25 per person. Price will increase to $30 for those who RSVP after October 15 and $35 for non-RSVP admission on the night of the event. Non-RSVP admission will be limited. Cash or check payment is accepted (no credit cards) in person or by mail at Miss Laura's Visitor Center, located at 2 North B Street, Fort Smith, AR. 72901. If paying by check, please make payable to Fort Smith CVB. For questions or more information call 479.783.8888 or send an email to