It’s long been a leading theory of marketing that nothing attracts customers like an eye-catching sign.
If that’s the case, look for traffic around Saracen Landing and other public sites to increase.
Officials gathered at Saracen Landing on Thursday morning for the unveiling of a large, double-sided electronic sign that will be programmed at the nearby Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Department’s office there. The message board is also equipped with a time and temperature sensor that will function constantly.
Greg Gustek, director of the city’s convention and visitors bureau and treasurer of the Lake Saracen Project Association, pointed out that the electronic message board was installed in the center portion of a lollipop-style sign erected for Saracen Landing’s 2007 dedication. The electronic upgrade was planned for “when funds became available.”
Simmons First National Bank, Pine Bluff Downtown Development and the project association recently put together the necessary funding for what Gustek called “a top-of-the-line” message board, which measures 87 inches in width and 41 inches in depth.
“The sign usage is going to be for publicizing events not only at Saracen Landing, but at Regional Park, Pine Bluff Convention Center and other citywide public events approved by the parks and rec staff,” Gustek said.
He added that officials have also approved usage of the sign — at a fee — for birthday, anniversary and other special occasions as authorized by the department.
Gustek also delivered updates on the Saracen Walking Trail’s development. The latest initiated phase — including construction of a boat ramp, resurfacing of the parking lot and repaving of the entrance road from Highway 79 — is being done in partnership with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Additional development will include installation of a 300-foot fishing and wildlife observation pier at Brump’s Bayou. Construction is expected to be completed by November. The proposed Lake Saracen Splash Park is projected to open along Pullen Street in the spring of 2014.
Meanwhile, new restroom facilities will be opening next month in Martin Luther King and Regional parks. The restrooms will feature timed locks that will shut the facilities at night and open them in the morning.
Parks and Rec Director Angela Parker capped the event by highlighting upcoming events, including Saturday’s annual Harbor City Festival and Gumbo Cook-off at Saracen Landing. Along with its food offerings, the Harbor City celebration will feature games and activities for children as well as live entertainment.