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Hot Springs This Week

Hot Springs This Week

By Neal Gladner
About Hot Springs, Arkansas - things to do in the Spa City, and the interesting people that make Hot Springs a top tourist destination.
Check us out on Twitter @hsthisweek.
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Episode #19 - The Hot Water - at Hot Springs National Park
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, Laura Miller.  From the famous thermal water, to the rehabilitation of the bath houses into privately owned businesses to hiking and camping, you'll hear it all from her. Plus, we'll run down a variety of seasonal things you can enjoy in Hot Springs. #HSNP #VisitHotSprings #Thermalwater #tourism #bathhouse
December 02, 2019
Episode 18 - The "See you later, Alligator" Episode
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. It's history dates back to 1902. It's been a Bridges family operation since 1947. How many alligators do they have? And what about the wolves? And how about the turtle that's over 100 years old? And, has an alligator ever escaped?  To get the answers, you'll have to listen. Plus, Jennifer and I run down things to do in November. #alligators #visithotsprings #tourism #pettingzoo 
November 04, 2019
Episode 17 - How downtown overcame problems to achieve it's current growth curve, with someone who was part of it all.
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 then came the fire at the once iconic Majestic Hotel. Downtown business leader Mark Fleischner was there for all of it. Now, the one time owner of Lauray's recalls those years and what it took for downtown to get to it's current state.   #Hot Springs #majesticfire #HSNP #Visit Hot Springs #History
October 22, 2019
Episode 16 - The Documentary Film Festival
The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is the longest continuing running festival in North America. The festival this year is October 18-26th, with over 60 features films and at least that many shorts. The festival also includes workshops, panels and educational opportunities for young people. Jen Gerber is the Executive Director, a former college professor and a film maker herself. We visit with Jen in this episode. And, we visit with another Jen, Jennifer Bailey in our regular calendar round up of things to do in future weeks. #HSDFF #Documentary #visithotsprings
October 07, 2019
Episode 15 - Meet Mr. Crappie - and his Crappie Tournament and Expo
His real name is Wally Marshall, but he goes by "Mr. Crappie", the the weekend of October 4-6, he's bringing what he calls the biggest Crappie Tournament and Expo to Hot Springs. Taught to fish by his Grandmother, Wally is an angler, sportsman and a promoter. The Expo will feature a giant free crappie fry. On the heels of the FLW Bass Tournament in Hot Springs earlier this year, Lake Hamilton will again play host to anglers. This time, 100 two-man teams will take to the water in search of $100,000 in prize money. #fishing #HotSprings #Crappie #MrCrappie #Tourism #Visit Hot Springs
September 22, 2019
Episode 14 - The Hotel Hale Story
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. The most recent to open is Hotel Hale, a boutique hotel with two separate dining rooms. Located in the former Hale Bath House, Hotel Hale is operated by Ellen and Pat McCabe. This conversation is with Pat McCabe, and as you'll hear, Hotel Hale was years in the making. #Visit Hot Springs #HotelHale #tourism #Hot Springs  #National Park Service 
September 15, 2019
Episode 13 - The Spa Con Convention in Hot Springs
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 underway. So as you'll hear, he had a lot of learning to do. We'll discuss how SpaCon has grown and what you can expect if you attend the annual convention. I also talk with Jennifer Bailey from KLAZ about things to do in the coming weeks, and with Kimberly Bogart about levels on Lakes Hamilton and Catherine, plus the Ouachita River. #VisitHotSprings #SpaCon #Rockyhorrorpictureshow #tourism #HotSprings
September 09, 2019
Episode 12 - Meet Mrs. Garvan of Garvan Gardens
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, complete with wardrobe from that era. By any measure of that time. Mrs. Garvan was an amazing woman, elevated to the CEO position of her father's empire upon his death in 1934. Women CEO's were rare in that time period. And as you'll hear, many years of her life were personally difficult. The land donation to the University of Arkansas' Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design came with legal stipulations and you'll hear about them in this episode. Plus, Jennifer Bailey joins me to run down things you can do in Hot Springs in the weeks ahead, and we visit with Kimberly Bogart of Entergy Arkansas Hydro operations about the lakes and rivers controlled by the utility. #GarvanGardens #UniversityofArkansas #VisitHotSprings #gardens #flowers 
August 24, 2019
Episode 11 - Mid America Science Museum
Another popular place in Hot Springs is the Mid America Science Museum. You'll see dinosaurs when you walk in. During the summer, they had a series of programs related to the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing. And there are a lot of static exhibits. MASM is on a natural setting over several acres. Voters in Hot Springs support the museum, and passed a measure allowing for construction of a new building to allow Mid-America to display larger traveling exhibits just months ago. The Museum started 40 years ago, and in this episode, we visit with Executive Director Diane LaFollette. We'll also look at the things to do in Hot Springs over the next few weeks with Jennifer Bailey from KLAZ, and a look ahead to lake and river conditions. #Science #MidAmericaScienceMuseum #HotSprings #VisitHotSprings #Smithsonian #Dinosaurs 
August 19, 2019
Episode 10 - Bill Barnes and Mountain Harbor Resort
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 disagreements with his Father years ago on the direction of the Resort. Like many of the conversations in this podcast series, we find out its really a story of being an entrepreneur.  Plus, Jennifer Bailey returns and we'll run down events you can enjoy from this posting through Labor Day. #Lake Ouachita #Mountain Harbor #Bill Barnes #Hot Springs #Vacation #Visit Hot Springs  #Arkansas Tourism #Resort . 
August 12, 2019
Episode 9 - Call to the Post - with Louis Cella from Oaklawn Park
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 event center. In our conversation, Cella talks about everything from the expansion to the family's long love of and dedication to thoroughbred racing.  After the conversation, Bill Solleder from Visit Hot Springs joins me for a rundown of things to do in Hot Springs over the next couple of weeks, plus a quick preview of Spa-Con. #Oaklawn #LouisCella #visithotsprings #horseracing #casino #paramutualwagering #Zenyatta #AmericanPharoah
August 03, 2019
Episode 8 - The FLW returns to Hot Springs
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, Billy McCaghren of Mayflower, Ar, who has earned his first ever chance to compete in the FLW cup.  Plus, we'll have our regular visit with Jennifer Bailey about things you can do in Hot Springs in the coming weeks. #FLW #FLWCup #Fishing #HotSprings #Tourism #VisitHotSprings #events
July 28, 2019
Episode 7 - The "Gangster Episode"
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 Springs, and how then city leaders kept them from setting up shop here. Hot Springs was a wild place - and Robert has all the history, including how it all came to an end. Plus, a look at things to do over the next few weeks. #gangsters #mobsters #HotSprings #VisitHotSprings #tourism #history
July 22, 2019
Episode 6 - Magic with Maxwell Blade
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 talents and/or copyright certain illusions. We taped our conversation at the theater. Plus, our weekly look at coming events you can enjoy in Hot Springs. #MaxwellBlade #Magic #Tourism #HotSprings #VisitHotSprings #KZNG #Malco #Entergy #LakeHamilton
July 15, 2019
Episode 5 - Baseball Spring Training in Hot Springs - A Rich History
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 as Mike tells us, the players enjoyed more than just baseball and the healing waters while they were here. Plus, we'll run down the things you can do while visiting Hot Springs over the next few weeks. #baseball #springtraining #tourism #hotsprings #visithotsprings #baberuth #cyyoung #mikedugan
July 08, 2019
Episode 4 - Guest: Anthony Valinoti of Deluca's, called Arkansas' best Pizza,
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 best pizza in Arkansas. But he points out, it wasn't without setbacks in the early days. Plus, a look at head to July 4th activities, which includes three nights of fireworks in Hot Springs. #pizza #Deluca's #AnthonyValinoti #visithotsprings #hotsprings #fireworks
July 01, 2019
Episode 3 - Hot Springs is home to the only brewery in a National Park in America.
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 learned the only way to use the way was to actually brew in the National Park. So what was a historic yet vacant bath house became a restaurant and brewery, and it has exceeded expectations. #Hot Springs #craftbeer #beer #SuperiorBathHouseBrewery #Tourism #Fireworks #VisitHotSprings #NealGladner #HotSpringsThisWeek
June 24, 2019
Episode 2 - McClard's BBQ has been serving up ribs and other favorites for 91 years. Our visit with Scott McClard plus things to do, and Ouachita River levels for floating looking forward.
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 #McClards #BBQ #Tourism #LakeHamilton #EntergyHydro #visitHotSprings
June 17, 2019