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Part of what makes Hot Springs both special and unusual is the downtown portion of the city is surrounded by Hot Springs National Park. If you've never visited, the main street through downtown is Central Avenue. One side of the street is the city, the other side is the iconic "Bath House Row". In this episode, we visit with the HSNP Superintendent…
 
One of the oldest and still operating attractions in Hot Springs features alligators, turtles, goats, wolves, peacocks and rabbits. And the list of animals there is longer than that. It's the Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo. In this episode, meet Jamie Bridges. He is the General Manager and one of the owners of this family based business. I…
 
While many would say downtown Hot Springs is stronger now than it's been in decades, the growth came in the wake of difficult challenges. The Hot Springs National Park was almost down graded to a "historic site"; floods roared through the downtown business district in the early 90's sweeping cars down Central Avenue as though they were toys; and th…
 
For many years, the buildings that made up Bath House Row in Hot Springs were closed and shuttered. Years ago, the National Park Service entered into public-private partnerships, leasing the historic structures to people who wanted to house a business in one of those buildings. Bath House Row is a robust part of the Hot Springs Tourism business. Th…
 
The 4th Annual SpaCon Convention is the topic for this episode. SpaCon is a three day celebration of everything from animation to Cosplay, from Cult movies to laser tag. And that doesn't even cover it all. My guest is Bill Solleder, Director of Marketing for Visit Hot Springs. When he joined the organization in 2016, planning for SpaCon was already…
 
In this episode, you'll meet Verna Cook Garvan, the woman who donated the land that became Garvan Woodland Gardens. She died in 1993, so you'll hear from her by way of Susan Harper. Susan has been with Garvan Gardens since its' start. Over the years, she researched the life of Mrs. Garvan, and now speaks as Mrs. Garvan in public appearances, comple…
 
The story of Mountain Harbor Resort starts with a man taking his son fishing in a newly formed lake. Mountain Harbor Resort remains a very popular destination for everything from families to anglers to business conferences. Bill Barnes owns and operates the resort, and tells the story of how it started, the struggle to keep it going, and even disag…
 
Louis Cella is the 4th generation of his family to oversee what is now Oaklawn Racing Gaming and Resort. As you'll hear, it's no coincidence that "Racing" comes first in the name. Oaklawn Park has been in operation since 1905. It's now in the midst of a $110 Million Dollar expansion for it‘s expanded casino, plus construction of a resort hotel and …
 
For three days in August, 52 of the best bass anglers in the world will converge on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs for the FLW Cup. Called by many the biggest bass tournament of all, they are competing for the first place prize of $300,000. In this episode, with talk with the FLW Director of Public Relations, Joe Opager. And, one of the anglers, Bill…
 
This episode features a conversation with Robert Raines - the owner of the Gangster Museum, the first of it's kind in America. Many people know that Hot Springs was a prime vacation spot for some pretty notorious members of the Mob. Robert has collected a lot of that history, and has great stories to tell about the mob members who came to Hot Sprin…
 
This week, we visit with the man who makes magic and brings a smile during his show. Maxwell Blade has been performing magic in Hot Springs for many years, and recently completed the renovation of the historic Malco Theater. He talks about the difference between a "trick" and an "Illusion", how he develops his routine, and even how magicians share …
 
Baseball spring training actually started in Hot Springs. That led to a rich baseball history in the Spa City. In this episode, Baseball Historian Mike Dugan tells us the healing waters brought the players here, and shares his years of research in a wonderful story about players like Babe Ruth and Cy Young who enjoyed the time they spent here. And …
 
In this episode, we visit with Anthony Valinoti, who left his Wall Street career and traveled to Italy to learn how to make pizza. Anthony told us his aim was to recreate the flavors he remembered growing up in New York. As you'll here, in an unlikely turn of events, he settled in Hot Springs where he opened Deluca's. Foodies have called it the bes…
 
Rose Schweikhart operates the first and only brewery in a National Park. In this episode, we hear the story of the Superior Bath House Brewery, plus a look at things to do in Hot Springs, AR over the next few weeks, including 4th of July events. When Rose moved to Hot Springs and wanted to start a brewery using the natural Hot Springs water, she le…
 
The history behind the iconic McClards BBQ with owner Scott McClard. The restaurant is going strong after 91 years, and you'll be surprised to hear how it all started. (Hint: someone couldn't pay their bill.) Plus, things to do starting the Wk of 6/17, and a quick look at lake information and projected flows to float the Ouachita River. #HotSprings…
 
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