WEST MEMPHIS, AR (abc24.com) - The recession hit West Memphis hard, but there are signs the city is making a comeback.
A new report shows West Memphis is in the middle of an economic recovery.
The biggest draw to West Memphis is Southland Park Gaming and Racing, which has been seeing more visitors due to the flooding in Tunica a year ago.
In 2011, Southland pumped $67 million into the West Memphis economy. That number is expected to be even higher this year.
“We're seeing a hundred percent increase in the tax benefit from them this year,” said Ward Winbish from the West Memphis Office of Economic Development.
Speaking of taxes, West Memphis is getting plenty of sales tax revenues. It was up three percent in May. Arkansans aren't the only ones spending big bucks.
“We're the retail center for Eastern Arkansas and we've become the retail center for downtown Memphis. The people who are living in downtown Memphis have quickly discovered the easiest way to get their shopping done, get their gas, get their prescriptions filled, come over to West Memphis,” Winbish said.
It doesn't hurt that several businesses are investing millions of dollars to expand operations in West Memphis, including household cleaning manufacturer Awesome Products Inc.
“We have already created 135 jobs and as time goes by we will add another 70 jobs,” said L.D. Hardas of Awesome Products said.