I was excited to see the city is seeking public input on what to do with the Majestic property. With the amazing creative and knowledgeable folks in Hot Springs I'm sure a great plan will be formulated in very short order.
I figured, what the heck, I might as well throw an idea out there. I mean I've looked stupid before, so why not?
My idea for the property would be the Arkansas Hall of Fame. I know we have the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame but there isn't, to my knowledge, a hall of fame dedicated across the board to outstanding Arkansans. I know we have the Walk of Fame here in Hot Springs already and I see the Arkansas Hall of Fame as being a natural extension of the Walk.
I'm picturing a campus with interactive displays of great Arkansans from the past and present. The Hall would be a great year around tourist attraction but would also serve to preserve the history of and celebrate the unique, talented and astounding people who were born and raised in the natural state.
Just think of the inaugural class that could be inducted. Johnny Cash, Maya Angelou, Douglas MacArthur, Glen Campbell, Helen Gurley Brown, Dizzy Dean, Alan Ladd, Bear Bryant, Jerry Jones, Sam Walton, Al Green, Conway Twitty, Hattie Caraway, Samuel Kountz, members of the Little Rock Nine and Bill Clinton, to name just a few.
Imagine the amount of national coverage Hot Springs would get from such a Hall of Fame. Our community would be featured in a wide variety of stories about our inductees and this type of interest would be repeated to some level each year when we announced the new class. The inductees that actually come to be enshrined will bring with them a built in level of media coverage that we as a community could never afford.
For example, if Jerry Jones, Al Green and Bill Clinton all came to the inaugural class, how many tourists would descend on our fair city? The hotels, restaurants and shops would all be filled to capacity. This weekend could potentially generate enough revenue to dramatically change the future of Garland County for years to come.
Contemplate for a moment how this could impact our community from a tourism standpoint. If we build a world-class facility that would engage with the public when they visited the site, it could be something that brought people back year after year and also would expose our city to a whole different tourism base each year with the new inductees. Admirers and fans of the inductees will certainly come for the induction and if they don't come for the induction will plan a trip here at some point to view the Hall.
I think we all agree that once people visit our amazing city they will be hooked and will tell their friends and relatives about the Spa City and this will in turn create more visitors. More visitors are good for our town and the ability to bring those visitors in throughout the entire year means revenues spread out through the entire year. I imagine schools, historical groups and fans coming basically non-stop throughout the year.
Maybe we start small with a building that will allow us to induct four people a year for five years. I honestly believe that if we play our cards right and do a quality facility and a first class presentation by the end of that fifth year the Arkansas Hall of Fame would be able to self-fund and expand.
The idea may be completely without merit but I think it is worth discussing. It would give the Spa City another unique attraction to add to our palette of colorful things to do.
The Majestic brought visitors here for many, many years. I think it only makes sense to build something on the site that will continue the tradition. Merriam-Webster defines majestic as having or showing impressive beauty or dignity. I think an Arkansas Hall of Fame would show the world the beauty and dignity of the inductees but also the beauty and dignity of Hot Springs.
Think about it Hot Springs.Editorial on 03/10/2019
Print Headline: A Majestic idea