Restaurant news, Jerry Jones, and Barrett Baber. These were the Flyer’s most popular topics this year.
We always enjoy digging through our analytics reports each year to see which types of stories drew the biggest audiences, and how much the Flyer grew.
We posted over 1,001 stories in 2015, which was down a bit from the 1,128 we published last year. However, traffic increased to 2.6 million pageviews, a 5.45 percent increase over 2014. We also reached over 21,000 likes on Facebook, over 17,000 Twitter followers, and more than 33,000 Instagram followers.
Thanks for reading, and for supporting the awesome local businesses that keep us flying.
Here are our top 25 most popular stories of the year. Also, check out our annual recap of the year in photos.
Our most read story of the year didn’t actually come until December. That’s when we learned that Jose’s Mexican Restaurant would be closing up shop for good, and that owners Joe Fennel and Doug Allen planned to reopen as JJ’s Grill as part of a new partnership with JJ’s founder Jody Thornton.
2. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones purchases, donates land near planned regional park in Fayetteville
Our second most read post of the year came way back in January, when we discovered that Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones had purchased 10 parcels of land totaling about 256 acres off Cato Springs Road near the site of the planned park.
We later learned that the Texas billionaire, former Razorback Football player, and member of the 1964 national championship team purchased the land to donate to a company affiliated with the Razorback Foundation.
Our annual guide on where to watch fireworks around the Fourth of July is always a top story. This year’s post, which included 17 area fireworks displays, landed in the top 3.
2015 was also the year we learned about the extent to which people from Texas will freak out about Whataburger.
Our March story about the restaurant chain breaking ground on their Fayetteville location landed at No. 4 on our most popular stories list, and once the restaurant opened in the summer, Fayetteville police had to staff the parking lot for weeks to help handle the traffic.
Our restaurant news posts have always been popular, and one we wrote in September mentioning the new Bocca Italian Restaurant, Fayetteville Grillhouse, Locals 479, and some other openings and closings was the most popular of those of the year.
Some prankster posted a sign on an abandoned gas station on College Avenue on April Fools Day that resulted in our sixth most read post of 2015.
A sign advertising Arkansas’ first marijuana dispensary appeared on an abandoned EZ Mart location on April 1. Of course, it was just a joke, as marijuana is still illegal in Arkansas. Still, it was a pretty good joke.
Our second most popular restaurant round-up of the year, and our seventh most read post overall came back in January. The post delivered news on Simon’s Diner, Nomad’s Music Lounge, East Side Cantina, The Handle Bar, Mayflower Restaurant, and others.
Probably the craziest story of the year came the day that a small plane parachuted onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard across from Fayetteville High School during an emergency landing on November morning. It turned out, the Cirrus SR 22 aircraft was being piloted by former Walmart CEO Bill Simon. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in the accident.
A profile on local musician Barrett Baber, who was in the midst of his run through the national singing competition The Voice lands at the ninth most read post of the year. Baber ultimately finished third in the competition, but he represented Arkansas all the way to the finals.
A piece announcing Baber’s appearance on the Voice lands at the 10th most read post on the site this year. A trailer for the show featured Baber blowing away the team of judges before the competition began, which turned out to be a good sign of his upcoming success on the show.