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Old 02-18-2014, 03:36 PM
 
1,507 posts, read 1,741,662 times
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I know there is some building going on,but there is so much room for improvement. I was sad to see the pull out of the financial backers for the Majestic. I thought that could have been a nice condo unit. But the old down town is so cool. Was there about 6 months ago and all was the same. What is going on that you know of those of you who live there?
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:04 PM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,223 posts, read 1,434,819 times
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I don't know about today, but in the not too distant past much of "down town" was owned by one family and they liked to hang onto their money and not maintain the buildings they owned .
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:15 PM
 
Location: The Natural State
1,223 posts, read 1,434,819 times
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Todays paper reported that the Majestic has now been boarded up
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:48 AM
 
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We stayed in the Majestic years ago. We thought it was very cool. The pool area was very mysterious and tropical looking to me, but it wasn't summer time, so we weren't able to swim. I'm not sure if it was even still operational in the summer at that time.

It pains me to see the pictures of the interior that someone posted on here a while back.

My kids always liked Hot Springs and my son kind of wants to go back and see all the things we saw when they were kids, but I don't know if it would be as "magical" to him now as it was then. He would probably see all the shabbiness now, and the downtown springs would probably not look as large and awesome to him. He always enjoyed the mountain tower, though, and would probably still like that. And he liked driving up West Mountain at night and looking out at the lights of the city. There was some kind of strangely-named trail that started on the top of West Moutain that he always wanted to hike, but we never had time. Dead Chief Trail, or something like that....whatever it was, it sounded interesting to a little boy with an active imagination.

Hot Springs is fun for kids because of all the activities (Mid-America Museum, the aquarium, Go-Karts, Mini-Golf, Alligator Farm, Tiny Town, Magic Springs, etc.), but I just prefer being in the mountains and hiking by a bubbling creek. (A person can do "attraction" stuff in just about any town, but when the mountains are within reach, that's where I want to be!) I also prefer hardwood forests, so I really prefer to be further north, which is where my mom's cabin was (Ozarks).

But the downtown area of Hot Springs does have a lot of potential and does already have a lot of interesting things to do....or at least it did last time I was there. I hope it's only gotten better since then, although the abandonment of the Majestic doesn't sound good. There used to be a little toy shop with unusual and educational toys that the kids always enjoyed looking around in.

We also stayed in the Arlington years ago, which was great. The pool is off the 7th floor (or something like that), and the rooms were nice and well-kept, and the breakfast was good, at least to these small-town bumpkins.

When all is said and done, though, Hot Springs just gives me enough of a taste of the mountains to make me long for the Ozarks....and it makes my mom long for Eureka Springs. But we are coming from south of Arkansas on our trips, so Hot Springs would be good for an occasional short trip in the future when we don't have time to get to the Ozarks. (Besides that, Mama sold her cabin. Argh.)
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas via ATX
1,298 posts, read 1,593,311 times
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Here's what Hot Springs needs. One or two casinos---with very strongly written restrictions and requirements. Stipulate that up to three casinos can operate in the city. Limit them to the downtown area. Specify architectural requirements such as that they be built of REAL masonry, limestone real brick, wooden window muntins, in other words, faux historic, but the highest quality faux historic possible. Prohibit neon and mirrored glass. In short, make them look like a part of the city fabric, and not some trash from Shreveport or Tunica. Keep it classy. Limit them to 13-15 stories.

The city already has gambling. It could be handled in a way that keeps the character of the downtown, but also drives huge numbers of tourists there. None of the other gambling meccas of the South have anything remotely as cool as Hot Springs does. Its a real destination that offers all kinds of attractions already, in a beautiful setting.

Casinos would agree to these types of restrictions, because their business is generally very lucrative. This would help the city maintain its character, increase its attractions, etc. You could also stipulate that a certain percentage of casino revenues be reinvested into restoration of city-owned historic properties. Kind of a slot machine TIF district. I really think it could be done in a nice way. Look at Blackhawk Colorado and other similar cities that have limited the size of casinos and managed to keep their historic integrity at the same time.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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The state law on Casinos says they have to be connected to the horse/dog track. Otherwise that would be great.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas via ATX
1,298 posts, read 1,593,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxondale351 View Post
The state law on Casinos says they have to be connected to the horse/dog track. Otherwise that would be great.
Yep. But the law can be changed. A good proposal that benefits the city and the state is what is needed.

All of the casino proposals that I've seen over the past several years were from out of state casino operators and written in a manner that would create a monopoly and give the state minimum control. Its a good thing they all failed at the ballot box or attorney general level.

The Hot Springs business community needs to look at what it wants. If I were them, that would be improvements to the historic and cultural amenities, capital improvements to infrastructure, and full hotel rooms and restaurants.

They also need to look at what they don't want, and I believe that is to not become Tunica or Shreveport.

Casinos could be regulated and introduced in a sane manner that improves the historic character of the city and brings maximum benefit to the city fabric and business community.

You could even regulate them to only be allowed as the result of historic restoration of existing city buildings and restrict any new construction. Issue three casino permits for a designated area of the city with vacant or under-used historic structures. There are ways to harness that energy, keep gambling dollars in state, and enhance the attraction offerings to tourists in the city all at once.

All that's needed is a visionary with a plan.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
5,251 posts, read 2,505,943 times
Reputation: 3356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
Yep. But the law can be changed. A good proposal that benefits the city and the state is what is needed.

All of the casino proposals that I've seen over the past several years were from out of state casino operators and written in a manner that would create a monopoly and give the state minimum control. Its a good thing they all failed at the ballot box or attorney general level.

The Hot Springs business community needs to look at what it wants. If I were them, that would be improvements to the historic and cultural amenities, capital improvements to infrastructure, and full hotel rooms and restaurants.

They also need to look at what they don't want, and I believe that is to not become Tunica or Shreveport.

Casinos could be regulated and introduced in a sane manner that improves the historic character of the city and brings maximum benefit to the city fabric and business community.

You could even regulate them to only be allowed as the result of historic restoration of existing city buildings and restrict any new construction. Issue three casino permits for a designated area of the city with vacant or under-used historic structures. There are ways to harness that energy, keep gambling dollars in state, and enhance the attraction offerings to tourists in the city all at once.

All that's needed is a visionary with a plan.
The people of Arkansas should have the chance to vote on this issue. But the powerful Louisiana casino lobbyists spend time and money in Arkansas (and Texas) keeping this initiative off the ballot, because it would cut into their profits.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Hot Springs Village, AR
316 posts, read 342,965 times
Reputation: 364
The casino issue was on the ballot in 2012 and was voted down.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee
5,251 posts, read 2,505,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimnelson1 View Post
The casino issue was on the ballot in 2012 and was voted down.
Oops. Didn't know that. I'm in Texas and just assumed y'all were in the same boat as us.
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