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Opinion: Daddy Warbucks

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XNA continues run

The upward trend in the number of boardings and deplanings at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport aka XNA continues. The airport was the brainchild of some true visionaries. We’re up despite the dip in the national—and yes, even our local economy. For the record, back in June 2007 – XNA saw 49,454
passenger boardings compared to 45,621 in June of 2006. In August 2007 figures were even better with some 50,713 boardings. While the pounds of freight
fell slightly from June ‘07 compared to June ‘06 – down from 6,042 in ’06 to 5,616 in June ’07. The freight hopped back up there to 13,354 in August ‘07. Must have been a shipment of horseshoes coming in on some of those planeloads of fleshy Razorback fans. To put some perspective on how big XNA really is, the Fort Smith airport (while quite a nice facility, which proudly promotes their clean bathrooms) saw only 7,360 passenger boardings in June 2006 and a hefty 8,466 in June this year. In August 2007, Fort Smith, too saw, some spike in passenger boardings – 9,439 – about one-seventh of the traffic at Highfill. Tulsa International Airport, next door in the Sooner State, saw some 157,183 passenger boardings in August about three times as many as XNA.

NOT FULL
There has been no follow up to the new 12-screen Razorback Cinemas opening. Those close to the insiders tell Daddy W. that while the opening was “good” it wasn’t “great” and that the management was sort of surprised at the softness of the first crowds. Can it be that no one can find the new movie house near the phantom Van Asche Drive? Daddy also heard that those who bought tickets online for the first Friday night show—and paid an extra buck for the convenience—had to go the counter anyway because the self-service kiosk was not working. Watch this development.

TWO MORE
There are still two more Razorback home games this season. The tents and others signs of area hot spots are still up. The fear that attendance may slack off a little is real. The Hogs need to start winning–and winning conference games. Already some much hoped for television exposure has been on the wane. And will there be empty seats at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium as South Carolina
comes to town on Nov. 3? The much hoped for Game Day show, sadly will not, as is appears, make a return to Hogville this year.

NEW TENANT
Automatic Auto Finance, one of the growing legions of buy-it-here-pay-for-it-here car markets in the region has moved into the former home of Focus Salon near the corner of 6th Street and Exit 62 access road off I-540. Focus Salon has moved to the University Square Shopping Center next door to Jim’s Razorback Pizza.

XMAS SALVOS
Wal-Mart has already come out verbally sparring with other retailers about discounting Christmas toys. Wal-Mart is offering deep discounts. A novel idea, hardly, but a buck is a buck and a sale is a sale. Poor old Santa and his elves
have been seen in store displays since Oct. 1 at most all retail outlets.

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