Hot Springs Village Launches New Discovery Center in Historic Hot Springs
By Judea Robinett
Photography by Amanda Shelley Ledbetter
Hot Springs Village recently opened a new “Discovery Center” in downtown Hot Springs, adjacent
to the Arlington Hotel, in the historic Wade Building on Central Ave. Not only has this given a jolt of new life to the building which remains one of the most stunning buildings downtown, but the Village is hoping it will also give a jolt to their community, located slightly north of downtown Hot Springs. Approximately three million visitors flock to Hot Springs every year, and the Village wants to attract some of them to make more permanent plans in the area. According to Stephanie Heffer, Director of Lifestyle and Community Development, the Village is transforming from the sleepy retirement community it once was into a resort community for those who want a little more adventure than pinochle and bridge games can offer.
“We want to tell people that Hot Springs Village is a short 20-minute drive up the highway, and that we have a lot to offer. We want to spread the message that there are activities and interests for an active, younger generation, and that the Village is far more than a retirement community.” explained Heffer.
The Discovery Center is appealing to a more digitally-native citizen, too. The showroom features some high- tech gadgets like an interactive map- table with touch-screen technology and a community-photo video loop. In addition to the gadgets, the new space functions as a small gift shop, featuring t-shirts and hats and printed materials with more information on what life is like in Hot Springs Village these days. Staff are also available
to assist visitors with scheduling golf tee-times, booking facility rentals, providing information regarding availability of properties and homes for sale, and issuing day passes for visitors.
Though it’s only 20 minutes away, most Hot Springs residents know relatively little about Hot Springs Village. “I really was surprised by how beautiful it was with the hills and lakes,” says Hot Springs resident, Karyn Hewell who recently looked at properties in the Hot Springs Village community with her partner. “I no idea there was so much to do there. So many options to enjoy the outdoors!”
The Discovery Center is located at 231 Central Avenue in Historic Downtown Hot Springs, AR 71901.