HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – From the Majestic Hotel to the old Army-Navy Hospital, another piece of Hot Springs history is on the chopping block. The Mountainaire Hotel was built in the 1940’s.
Despite several owners and attempts to restore it, the hotel has been abandoned for nearly 30 years and is back on the market. A non-profit is leading the charge to bring it back to life.
Sitting off highway seven near downtown Hot Springs, sits two identical buildings that if walls could talk oh the stories they would tell.
“Starting in the 40’s you had these motor courts or motor hotel lodges coming in and that’s where really the Mountainaire came into play,” Michael Schwarz with Abandoned Arkansas said.
Flashback to 1947, the hotel was the Hot Springs hot spot.
“A lot of the gangsters and a lot of the people who loved to gamble would often stay here,” Schwarz said.
As gambling was outlawed and new highways were built, less and less people were checking in. By the 90’s, it was cleared out completely.
“It’s been sold and it’s been sold and it’s been sold,” Schwarz said.
Sitting empty for nearly three decades, it is now back on the market yet again.
“To see that building go away or get demolished, Hot Springs would lose its smile,” Schwarz said.
Schwarz remembers the last building they couldn’t save just down the road from this.
“When I saw the Majestic come down, I cried,” Schwarz said.
That moment is what drives him to bring awareness to historic sites just like this.
“So that hopefully one day somebody could come in and say ‘I want to do something with that,'” Schwarz said.
Despite the stained brick and broken windows, he knows what this could be.
“You’re looking at a building that has a great bone. It’s just ripe for renovation,” Schwarz said.
Now he just hopes someone else sees it as well.
“It would just be a crying shame if we lost another one,” Schwarz said.
Schwarz hopes to have some volunteer days where the community can come out and help fix up the property.
He said that should encourage potential buyers.