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Downtown Hot Springs revitalization plan to be revealed | News

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Downtown Hot Springs revitalization plan to be revealed

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) -- For six months, a group has looked for ways to improve downtown Hot Springs. Next Thursday, the economic development group will present those findings and a plan of action to revitalize historic Hot Springs.

This whole process began after the Majestic Hotel fire in 2014. City leaders were left with a mess and saw an opportunity to capitalize on the loss.

Better parking, new hotels and residential development are all improvements that downtown development director for the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Cole McCaskill says could be coming to downtown Hot Springs.

"Bolster that 24-hour economy, the people living downtown. The live, work, play environment."

McCaskill says for the past six months the community has participated in focus groups and public forums.

"We sort of gave them some guidelines to look at when they were doing this planning and the Majestic of course was the big issue and then parking is always in downtown areas."

Janet Ford manages The Savory Pantry, a store in downtown Hot Springs. She's excited to see what will come from the consultants recommendations.

"There's always room for growth and we've got plenty of room."

From residents to shop owners, their wish is for more hotels here in downtown Hot Springs and possibly a residential development.

Ford says there's so many abandon buildings that have a lot of potential.

"The small boutique type hotels to the large-scale hotels. People want a variety and an option."

McCaskill says the development plan includes details on what the city will do with the Majestic Hotel space.

"There's a funding strategy for each one, there's a timeline for each one, there's a consequence of an action for each one."

Ford is hoping for a new entertainment venue.

"We have wonderful galleries in downtown Hot Springs, but performing arts would be a great thing too."

The whole scope of that plan will be revealed next Thursday on the top floor of the Exchange Street Parking Plaza.