The City of Hot Springs, West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District and the Hot Springs Metro Partnership will host national economic development consulting firm Thomas P. Miller and Associates (TPMA) as it presents its findings of the Hot Springs Downtown Economic Development and Redevelopment Action Plan, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 8 at the top of the Exchange Street Parking Plaza, 128 Exchange Street. The public is encouraged to attend.
The formation of the Downtown Economic Development and Redevelopment Action Plan started in April when TPMA began meeting with community leaders and stakeholders utilizing a methodology of gathering the collective knowledge of the valley.
“The Hot Springs community united together to provide the vision for the Downtown Economic Development and Redevelopment Action Plan, communicating ideas from hundreds of stakeholders over the last several months,” Project Manager and TPMA Assistant Director of Economic Development Courtney Zaugg said about the Action Plan.
In total, TPMA gathered information from 450 community stakeholders during numerous community engagement sessions to reshape the future of downtown Hot Springs. The passion of the participants – including residents, downtown business owners, retirees, neighborhood association members and city tourists – for the success of Hot Springs culminated in several goals that will allow Hot Springs to capitalize on its many attributes to reach its potential as a destination city with a thriving economy and high quality of life.
“The most important thing to remember when reviewing and implementing the Downtown Economic Development and Redevelopment Action Plan is that it is a plan reflecting the goals and desires of the people of Hot Springs, rather than a series of recommendations from a group of consultants,” Project Lead and TPMA Senior Vice President Tom West said.
In addition to three overarching goals along with a number of strategies and steps to achieve those goals, the Downtown Economic Development and Redevelopment Action Plan outlines “Transformative Tactics” designed to achieve the community’s stated goals for a future vibrant and sustaining downtown, including possible redevelopment options for the Majestic Hotel site. The destruction of the Majestic was a major impetus for Hot Springs to seek the assistance of a consultant to revitalize the downtown.
Through the course of TPMA’s engagement with Hot Springs, the group conducted interviews with individual stakeholders, hosted focus groups, two public forums and a 12-hour open house that drew just shy of 300 participants to the lobby of the Medical Arts Building in Downtown Hot Springs.
Free event parking is available on the lower floors of the parking plaza. The rain location will be the ground floor level. For information, contact Project Administrator Vicki Anderson, (501) 525-7577, ext. 15.