Hot Springs Village’s New Destination is Making a Point of Its Own
by Josh Williams
photography by Jeremy Rodgers

Waypoint, down to the coordinates on the map, is perfectly set, like the jewel on the crown of Arkansas – Hot Springs Village. Recently coming to fruition, Waypoint is the brainchild and the newest addition to the community wide renovation project by the Placemaking Team, who is tasked with creating a fresh new look and feel for the rapidly evolving destination/resort area inside the largest gated community in America. Hot Springs Village’s Chief Operations Officer David Twiggs said, “We have a very active younger population that’s growing every day. We opened Waypoint to expand opportunities for people to enjoy the lakes and try new things.” Many people have yet to experience this beauty nestled in the foothills of the Ouachitas, but that is about to change.

Located between Highway 7 and Highway 5, west of Hot Springs and one mile into the Hot Springs Village gates, Waypoint is a once tattered old building that brims with new life and vigor. It features a corner coffee shop, a taco café, and a beer and wine bar. It also offers rentals of kayaks, paddle boards, bicycles and other tools needed to utilize a fun day immersed in the natural surroundings.

This “new” hangout has a very distinct feel: Imagine yourself caught in a vortex somewhere between a SoHo apartment in 1975 and a cabin in a wooded area with a multi-level deck and a beautiful lake in the front yard. Complete with retro chairs, repurposed wood décor and a variety of local faces, Waypoint offers the comfort that only a friendly, active, speakeasy-type hangout can provide. Essentially, doers are who one will find at the new Waypoint; people who enjoy hanging loose on the trails and waterways that meander through every nook and cranny of this secluded mecca, which is quickly losing its status as a “well kept secret.” The rippling water, shaded trails and scenic views, along with a place to house your boat or rent kayaks and paddle boards, is indicative of this little slice of utopia that is soon to become one of the more popular destinations around the state.

The mission of the Placemaking initiative is to allow small, home-grown start-ups to flourish, and “make a place” for active people who may not have the opportunity to do what they love elsewhere. For one, it helps the local economy, and two, it promotes creativity and gives confidence to local artisans to invest in their dreams. Job creation and a revived economy is what the American society needs right now:

Enter Red Light Roastery and Little Penguin Tacos.

Red Light Roastery, owned by Adam Moore, is a “small batch” coffee company and the provider of the organic brew served at the new Waypoint. A popular new startup company, their grassroots marketing and crafty merchandising of top quality coffee blends, along with their handcrafted pottery coffee cups, are a hit with locals in the Hot Springs area already. Adam is more than excited about having the opportunity to be at the forefront of the evolution of Hot Springs Village. “It’s been great working with everyone at Waypoint,” Adam said. “They are the first coffee shop to serve our beans, and they are all about supporting local (business). Our three ideals as a company are community, sustainability and wellness. Waypoint is a natural fit for us.” You can take a closer look at www. redlightroastery.com

The fresh, organic food at Waypoint, provided by Little Penguin Tacos, is just as delectable as the array of fresh beverages. Owner Jonathan Gonzalez follows the standard that the Placemaking team is trying to promote. He uses fresh, organic ingredients free from additives like steroids and GMO’s. He uses a local entity, JV Farms in Bismarck, for most of his meats and he also makes use of his personal garden at home to supply his restaurant with the freshest of vegetables. “It’s awesome to be a part of the renewed outdoor community that’s present in The Village,” Jonathan said. “Basecamp is doing some incredible things and I am really proud to be a part of it, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.” Check out Little Penguin Tacos on Facebook for more.

While the food and drinks at Waypoint are of the utmost quality, the real attraction is crafting and building your very own outdoor adventure, the way you choose. People’s outdoor interests are as varied as their personalities: mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and paddle boarding, fishing, golfing; the destination is not as important as the journey, and Waypoint is one of the first steps in the journey that Hot Springs Village is taking into the future. It is going to be a long trek, but a fruitful one. With the enthusiasm of the vendors and the patronage of local fun-seekers, the end of the trip will be completely satisfying. So, the next time you take a voyage to central Arkansas, make it a point to stop by Waypoint.

120 Marina Road
Hot Springs Village
Arkansas, 71909