Magic Springs Theme & Water Park announced Monday that Stubby's BBQ will expand with a second restaurant location inside the park, with doors opening for business on Saturday.
"Stubby's is a classic around Hot Springs and will make a delicious addition to the park's eateries," Jack Bateman, the park's general manager, said in a news release. "We could not be more excited to welcome them to Magic Springs family!"
Stubby's BBQ joins Trejo's Mexican Restaurant, offering two dining experiences of authentic barbecue and Mexican cuisines to park visitors.
Stubby's will take the place of Smoke On the Water, the barbecue restaurant formerly located inside the park. The building has been rethemed to fit the Stubby's brand.
"It's located in what we call the lower half of the park," Michael Wampler, Magic Springs' director of sales and marketing, said Monday. "If you're familiar with the layout of the park, as you're coming down the hill past the carousel, it's just past the SkyShark."
Nationally recognized for "Cookin' Que Since '52," Stubby's strives to keep the handcrafted, family owned values a priority. They take pride in avoiding shortcuts to maintain the same standard visitors have enjoyed for decades, the release said.
"We're always looking for ways to improve the park experience for our guests, and Stubby's, having been in Hot Springs since 1952, is a very, very famous barbecue restaurant here in the city. They offer a great menu and we felt like partnering with Stubby's would enhance our product offering to our guests."
As for why they chose to partner with locally owned Stubby's as opposed to a restaurant chain, Wampler said, "Giving back to the community has always been important to us."
"Magic Springs and Stubby's are a perfect pair," Stubby's proprietor and "Pit Master" Chris Dunkel said. "We are proud to partner with Magic Springs and give guests a taste of our tradition."
The in-park location will be open with the park's schedule throughout the entire season.
The park is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and the opening of its first new thrill ride in 10 years, Brain Drain, a 13-story tower drop ride. The park opened for its first day of the season on April 7, and Wampler said it was a "very successful opening weekend."
"We felt like, given the very extreme weather -- it snowed here that morning -- we did have a very successful opening weekend and we're looking to bigger things for 2018. We feel like the addition of the new ride, the Brain Drain, has definitely been well received and the public has responded favorably to its addition," he added.
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