Apache Pilot Robert Purdy of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade and multiple tours of duty to Afghanistan and Iraq was a special guest at our July 4th Flag-Raising Ceremony this week. During Rob’s most recent tour, he requested of Bill Barnes an Arkansas flag to wear during his mission. He described how he had always worn a United States flag under his equipment and that for this final tour, he wanted to take Arkansas with him instead. Bill promptly took the Arkansas flag from the Harbor Marina, which is where they stood during the discussion, and handed it to Rob.
It was with great excitement and pride that Bill accepted the return of this flag on Thursday, July 4th, 2013, from Rob. It had safely been worn on his body during his entire tour of duty – and during his final mission overseas. The flag and this special award pictured were presented to Bill and the staff at Mountain Harbor Resort. Most importantly, having Rob with us in person and back safely with his family on home soil, was the greatest honor of all. It was a wonderful July 4th, made even better with the presence of Rob and all that his service to our GREAT NATION represents to us as proud Americans.
Posted in Harbor Special Events, Harbor Special Guests | 1 Comment »
Mountain Harbor has proudly hosted an annual Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony for more than 15 years now – on Lake Ouachita, just off of Marina Point. At Harbor, Brother David Jones prays over each blessing that is carefully wrapped and distributed to every boat that passes by the Joplin Fire Department fleet of fire boats. In addition, Jones also prays over each vessel that passes under his bow. It’s a simple prayer – one that hopefully brings grace and safety to the families that devote so much time to Ouachita during the summer season.
This tradition, of course, began centuries ago – as traditions usually do. Mediterranean fishing communities held elaborate ceremonies meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season. A successful fishing season brought prosperity to the entire community of families, or could just as easily keep everyone starving through a long winter. The more elaborate and commonly held ceremonies were most common among Catholic communities.
The United States was introduced to these ceremonies when it was only a “New World,” as immigrants made their way here and brought with them the culture, traditions, and lifestyle that were accustomed to. As the centuries passed, the events began to include multi-day festivals, a Catholic Mass in some areas, parades, pageantry, dancing, feasting and contests. The most well-known of these ceremonies still take place in Jacksonville, Florida; Darien, Georgia; Brunswick, Georgia; McClellanville, South Carolina; Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; and even Washington D.C.
Here at Harbor, our ceremony hosted 37 boats this year. It’s a small, simple celebration that we host each Memorial Day weekend, but one that we cherish deeply. It’s so special because of the many families and friends that return here year after year to celebrate summertime, beautiful woods and a wilderness lake, as well as the pleasure and luxury of togetherness. We thank you everyone that participated. And – we wish each guest that touches our shores a safe, exciting, and happy 2013 boating season.
See a full gallery of photos – including all participating boats and families – at this link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151659170216425.1073741842.131072131424&type=3
Posted in Arkansas Tourism, Harbor and Local Happenings, Harbor Special Events | Leave a Comment »
Mountain Harbor Resort proudly nominated Gina Golden – long-time staff member and friend to the resort as the 2013 “Star of Industry,” at the annual Stars of Industry Banquet and Awards Dinner hosted by the Arkansas Hospitality Association. Nominees are recognized for their outstanding service to the hospitality industry, and for going above and beyond their call of duty. Gina is directly responsible for motivating fellow staff members and setting a wonderful example via her work ethic, compassionate attitude, and sweet patience. She continues to represent Mountain Harbor and the Tri-Pennant Family of Resorts in the highest way possible.
Gina has worked in the Harbor Guest Care Department for eight years now. She currently handles warehouse duties (the warehouse is an 8,000 square foot facility), and guest care time sheets, she assists with room inspections and takes care of housekeeping inventories. When she’s not on the clock, Gina is a member of the Joplin Volunteer Fire Department. In addition to a 40-hour work week, Gina trains with the fire crew and responds to fires and other emergencies. She is currently working on her First Responder Certification, as well. The best testament to Gina’s character and dedication to the company happened very recently over the Christmas holiday. During this year’s surprise ice and snow, many guests were stranded here at Harbor. Gina knew from radio traffic that most staff would not make it to work to help care for the many individuals needing resort care. Gina made it as far as Harbor Road, where Harbor staff picked her up to carefully usher her down the icy highway. Without being asked, Gina didn’t hesitate to spend her Christmas here at Harbor taking care of everyone else. This consideration for others is what sets Gina apart. It’s a value that you can’t teach people, because it has to genuinely come from inside someone.
An excerpt from her award nomination – carefully written by Pati Brown, our wonderful long-time Lodge Manager at the resort – is a wonderful way to close this great tribute to Gina: “We don’t know of anyone else who has so personified the exceptional passion, dedication and commitment in a career that has embodied excellence and integrity. We are proud to nominate Gina Golden of Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa as the “Heart of the House” Employee of the year.”
Posted in Harbor Special Events | Tagged Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, ARkansas Hospitality, Arkansas Hospitality Association, Arkansas Lake Resorts, Arkansas Lakes, Arkansas Tourism, Arkansas Travel, Gina Golden, Lake Ouachita, Mount Ida, Mountain Harbor Awards, Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa, Star of the Industry Awards | Leave a Comment »
This cold, February weekend hosted BIG Striper excitement on Ouachita (see Randy’s 32-pound giant caught on Saturday above and below!)! Called by some sources the “Striper Capital,” Ouachita was first introduced to Striper in 1956 when the lake received 27 from North Carolina. It took a few years, but from the 1970s to the present, the lake has been regularly stocked with these giants. Ouachita’s abundance of deep water creates a perfect-condition habitat for the fish – that are known for stripping lines, fighting nets, and weighing in excess of 40 lbs!
Jerry Bean, one of Harbor’s professional fishing guides – and a fisherman with a specialty for Striper fishing – says that they actually saw the fish on the boat’s radar. Seemingly huge compared to its surroundings, the pair had huge luck to actually see the fish and then bait it. If you’ve caught Striper,or Striped Bass, before, you know that simply baiting these animals is not even half the challenge. Striper are never still for long and will almost always take off as soon as they’re caught. If they don’t strip the line, pull your pole into the water, or knock you down – most have a 15-20 minute fight before netting and transferring fish to the live well. Randy’s catch on Saturday was actually so big, it took a team effort to unfold him out of the well. Most commonly, Striper are located by the unmistakable sprays of water that they send skyward when feeding on the surface. They can actually survive and thrive in both freshwater and saltwater.
The current world-record-Striper was caught by North Branford and weighed 81.88 pounds – off the coast of Westbrook, Connecticut. Several individuals in the area have caught 40-lb fish from Ouachita … whether we will ever see an 80-pound monster, time will tell!
For more information about Striper, visit arkansasstripers.com. Also visit our Marina page for details on contacting any of our three excellent Lake Ouachita fishing guides!
Posted in Marina Monday | Tagged Arkansas Fishing, Arkansas Lake Resorts, Arkansas Lakes, Arkansas Marinas, Arkansas Outdoors, Arkansas Striper Fishing, Arkansas Tourism, Arkansas Travel, Lake Ouachita, Lake Ouachita Fishing, Lake Ouachita Marinas, Marina Monday, Mount Ida, Mountain Harbor, Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa, Striped Bass Fishing, Striper, Striper Fishing | Leave a Comment »
Lake Ouachita has been recorded as the site for some 1700 eagles during the wintertime (stats from Travel Arkansas blog). Many choose to stay until as late as mid-February or early March – depending on temperatures in the northern United States. Photos here were shared with the Harbor Marina by the McFadden Family (THANK YOU, BILL!), – and capture the Harbor eagle tour this past Saturday. Apparently, the group had an extremely successful trip – as the photos reveal. Eagle-watching tours are always a gamble, as these majestic creatures are not always easy to spot. Part of their grandeur, in fact, is their extreme intelligence and aggressive hunting ability, as well as their habit of building nests in oftentimes unique places. If you’re interested in catching an eagle tour before the end of this winter season, contact the nearby Lake Ouachita State Park by calling 501-767-9366. Or, join us in 2014 for our annual Eagle-watching barge tours and February wildlife seminars!
Posted in Marina Monday | Tagged Arkansas, Arkansas Lakes, Arkansas Marinas, Arkansas Travel, Bald Eagles, Eagles, Lake Ouachita, Lake Ouachita eagles, Lake Ouachita Marinas, Mountain Harbor Lodging, Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa, Parks and Tourism Commissioners, Tourism Industry | 1 Comment »
Harbor proudly opened the newly acquired Joplin Inn, formerly the Colonial Motel, this past weekend. Located at the intersection of Mountain Harbor Road and Hwy 270, this facility adds variety and value to the many exciting options available to resort guests. The convenient roadside access, same economy pricing, and newly remodeled rooms offer a wonderful stopping place for travelers along the highway and visitors to the Lake Ouachita area. Joplin Inn guests enjoy the same excellent customer service standards and wonderful resort amenities (including Lodge Restaurant deliveries, access to the three property swimming pools, launching ramp, hiking and biking trails, riding stables, and MORE!) offered to Harbor guests – all a short 2 1/2-mile drive away.
The Joplin Store – just across from the Inn – offers guests hot pizza, delicious breakfasts and lunches, fresh salads, snacks and sundries, supplies and lottery tickets, DVD/DVD player rentals, friendly, knowledgeable staff, and all reception needs for the Joplin Inn lodging accommodations. Contact the Joplin Store by calling 870-867-2400.
Joplin Inn reservations can be made by calling the Harbor Lodge Reception Desk at 870-867-2191. We look forward to inviting you all to our official opening and ribbon-cutting in March, 2013. We hope you enjoy the images below of all the progress made in the rooms. The house and suite will soon follow with updates and new, cozy furniture and bedding. We are extremely proud to continue the local, family-owned legacy of this special place. We hope that Harbor guests come to enjoy the roadside access, vintage appeal, and great rates available at the newest addition to Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa.
Joplin Inn “Before” Photos
Joplin Inn “After” Photos – Come visit soon!
Posted in Harbor and Local Happenings | Tagged Arkansas cabins, Arkansas Lake Resorts, Arkansas Lakes, Arkansas Lodging, Arkansas Outdoors, Arkansas Travel, Arkansas Waterways, getaway spot, Hot Springs Lodging, Joplin Inn, Lake Ouachita, Mount Ida, Mountain Harbor Lodging, Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa | Leave a Comment »
The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism issued a “Proclamation of Thanks” to Alice Walton of the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville on Tuesday, January 29th. Bill Barnes, owner and CEO of Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa, is a commissioner among the many wonderful representatives from different businesses and regions in our state. Commissioners voted and signed the proclamation in November, 2012. On Tuesday, Commissioners were treated to a lunch and tour of Crystal Bridges – and afterward presented Alice with this esteemed “thank you” from the Arkansas tourism industry. We are excited to share these images here – and join with our commissioners in excitement and gratitude to Ms. Walton and the museum for the many excellent things each has brought to our little southern state – with SO MUCH TO OFFER!
Posted in Arkansas Tourism | Tagged Alice Walton, Arkansas, Arkansas Art Museums, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Arkansas Museums, Arkansas Parks and Tourism, Arkansas Tourism, Arkansas Travel, Art Museums, Bentonville, Crystal Bridges Museum, Lake Ouachita, Mount Ida, Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa, Parks and Tourism Commissioners, Tourism Industry | Leave a Comment »