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WHEN IT WAS MAJESTIC: I prefer to remember it this way.

A detailed story in the Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs on the rejection of two proposals to redevelop the site of the old Majestic Hotel. City officials said they lacked required assurances of financial capability.


Proposals required either a bond guaranteeing sufficient capital or annual financial statements and a fiscally sound development plan.

The coronavirus extended the proposal submission period to April 30 and two were submitted.


Grand Point Investment Group and Cienda Partners’ proposed a $100 million thermal water resort with 250 guest rooms, 30 residences, a park, a rooftop club, spa, mountain biking program and parking, the newspaper reported.

DHM Design of Colorado proposed to find investors for a design that would “look to integrate the hot springs into the natural environment.”


Deputy City Manager Lance Spicer said the city would solicit more proposals. The city bought the vacant hotel property for more than $2 million in 2015 and demolished it. The property has received environmental clearance for redevelopment.

A spokesman for Cienda told the newspaper its partnership had the means and track record to get the project done and was prepared to work further with the city.

PS — I have sentimental reasons for my attachment to this story. The greatest trip of my young life was a family stay in the Majestic Hotel in 1958. We ate at the Dutch Treat. I bought comic books in the Sundry Store. I drank hot water from the fountain in the lobby. I walked Central Avenue where a sidewalk photographer snapped my picture outside Mollie’s, where we ate loaves of challah. We went out to the Majestic’s lodge on the lake. Went to the IQ Zoo. Got a pair of cufflinks from the 25-cent mystery box at the auction house on Central. On a trip several years later, we had rooms in the “swanky” Lanai Suites. Don’t ask me why but I still remember the pleasure of cold Pepsi in one of those swirled bottles that I bought from a machine by the pool.

We joined my Huttig, Ark., relatives at their campsite on Lake Ouachita for a mess of fried, freshly-caught fish.


I also remember asking my parents about some words painted as an advertisement on one of the other hotel/bathhouses. “What is a high colonic?”

I was not the only person in swampy South Louisiana who looked at the lakes and mountains of Arkansas as something near paradise. Who knew in 1958 where that eight-year-old would be today?