What started out as a group of friends has grown into the Ozark Kings, an organization promoting Ozark destinations and recreational opportunities. Founding members Bryon Craig, Andrew Curley, Marty Farrar, Josh Gordon and Scott Hubbard all grew up in the Ozarks and have a strong love for enjoying this region.
“We all grew up here and love the Ozarks. What the Ozark Kings is about is sharing that love with the wider world,” Curley says. “The Ozarks is really a special place and worthy of praise. The idea of creating a group came up when we were all together and noticed we have an attorney, an MBA, and entrepreneur, an IT guy and law enforcement officer, and if we all pooled our efforts maybe we could get something done to help Dent County.”
The Ozark Kings’ goal is to celebrate the Ozarks lifestyle and communicate local recreational opportunities, businesses and destinations to potential tourists and anyone else interested in the region. Among the projects the Ozark Kings are developing to achieve this goal is a website to promote tourism, creating locally sourced fishing lures and bait and establishing a fishing tournament to challenge anglers with the Ozarks Triple Crown.
“In Florida they’ve been very successful promoting fishing with grand slam tournaments where anglers get awarded for catching different fish species in a set amount of time, so we thought why not do something like that here,” Gordon says. “The premier fish for our area is Rainbow Trout, German Brown Trout and Smallmouth Bass. The idea of the Ozark Triple Crown is if you can catch all three kinds of those fish in 24 hours, you get to become an Ozark King or Queen.”
The Ozark Kings say they are currently looking into the opportunity of hosting a fishing tournament on the Current River this fall where anglers can cast lines in an attempt to achieve the Ozarks Triple Crown.
“Right now we have a heavy emphasis on fishing because it’s something we all love, but there are certainly more opportunities to enjoy the Ozarks, and we will also be promoting those as well,” Curley says. We have a national treasure here in the Ozarks and we want to promote it to ultimately improve the lives of residents of the Ozarks who benefit greatly from tourism revenue.
“We officially formed last year, so we’re a new group, but going forward we plan to do whatever we can to promote the Ozarks way of life and help raise awareness of our local destinations,” Curley says.
The Ozark Kings website is available at www.ozarkkings.com. The group also has an active Facebook page available to view by searching Ozark Kings.