UACES Facebook Vines Center takes home five Best of Biz awards
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Vines Center takes home five Best of Biz awards

By Emily Thompson
U of A System Division of Agriculture
March 8, 2019 


  • First time center won in four of the categories
  • Winners chosen in a poll of Arkansas business professionals
  • For more info: 

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LITTLE ROCK — With 228 acres of meadow and forestland, a six-acre lake, a pool and ropes course, the Vines Center isn’t your typical workplace. Even so, voters in the 2018 Arkansas Business best of Biz Awards named it as the Best Place for a Business Conference/Meeting, as well as four other first place honors.  


The center also was awarded Best Team Building Center, Best Place for a Company Retreat, Best Place for a Special Event and Best Place for an Employee Outing. 

The Vines Center has won Best Team Building Center nine times, but this is the first time it has won in the other four categories.

J.J. Pitman, director of the center, said it was a goal of his to get the center to place in other categories. 

“It feels great to finally be recognized outside of our normal circle,” Pitman said. The center, which will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2020, was built as a place for the Arkansas 4-H program to hold its activities. While other youth centers with more rustic accommodations, the Vines Center has motel-style accommodations and a state-of-the-art auditorium and on-site catering to host conferences and retreats. 

Pitman said that the scenery and the amenities offered at the Vines Center helps them stand out in the competition. 

“Our setting is gorgeous in the foothills of the Ouachita mountains and we are just 10 miles west of Little Rock,” Pitman said. “You feel far out, but it’s still convenient.” 

The annual Best of Biz competition recognizes top-notch facilities that have proven able to best meet the unique needs of businesses and business leaders in the state.

Finalists in the Best of Biz competition are chosen by a poll of thousands of Arkansas business professionals. Other businesses competing for these titles included Embassy Suites by Hilton, Little Rock Marriott, Cross Rhodes Consulting, VIP2, Mount Magazine State Park and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute.  

The center, named for C.A. Vines, former director of the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, features a variety of lodging and dining options for business or group retreats and conferences at an affordable price. There are meeting spaces available for groups ranging in size from five to 500. The center also offers team-building programs, rock-climbing walls, ropes courses, hiking trails, canoeing, an outdoor pool and other activities. 

For more information about the Vines Center or to book your event today visit,

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.  

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.   

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.


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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126