HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Plans for an outdoor amphitheater at the site of a burned-down historic Hot Springs hotel were scrapped Wednesday after the developer canceled them.
The Majestic Hotel was one of America’s most famous hotels in its heyday, but its 21st-century run was less successful. It ultimately burned down in 2014 before the site was thoroughly cleaned.
Several developers submitted ideas for projects at the site, and the city chose one for an outdoor amphitheater space. The developer’s supply chain and economic concerns played a part in a surprising cancelation, said Bill Burrough, the City Manager.
“Unfortunately, the site just didn’t meet the requirements of what he was trying to do as far as the number of seats for the amphitheater,” Burrough said.
Burrough said the developer requested a meeting with city leaders, but the rescinded plan came as a relative surprise.
“We had no idea we’d terminate the contract,” Burrough said.
Burrough said the developer is not completely cutting the project, and the plan is to create an even larger amphitheater in another area.
“He’s still excited about the project,” Burrough said. “He plans to build the amphitheater in the city of Hot Springs just at a different location.”
Other developers have had an interest in buying the property even before it burned down.
Parth Patel is the President of Development for VIPA Hospitality, which has several properties in Hot Springs and one in Little Rock. He said the company had conversations with the Majestic’s owner in 2012.
“I’ve toured the hotel twice when she was still standing here,” Patel said Thursday.
Patel’s company submitted a plan to bring the Majestic back as another hotel of some sort, one replete with water amenities used from the natural springs. He said he still envisions the site being home to a hotel.
“I would love to entertain something, maybe,” Patel said. “We’ll see.”
Patel said he understands the economic constraints that thwarted the planned amphitheater. Those same issues will likely pause any quick decisions involving the site’s future, Burrough said. “My recommendation to the board is to hit that pause button until we can see what’s happening with the economy and supply chain issues,” Burrough said.