Latest Talk on Bathhouse Row Includes Opening 2 in 2007

April 16, 2006 - Posted at 12:17 p.m. CST

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) _ In the decades-old effort to revitalize

historic Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs, two bathhouses -- the Quapaw

and the Lamar -- may open next year. Hot Springs National Park

celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2007 and four of the eight

bathhouses could possibly be open by then. Currently, Fordyce and

Buckstaff are open.

The Quapaw is the largest of the eight. It opened in 1922 but

has been closed since 1984. Bob Kempkes, one of three investors,

said his group wants to at least open retail space in the Quapaw by

the spring of next year.

Also, the National Forest Service in Hot Springs is considering

moving its offices into the 84-year-old Lamar Bathhouse. Lamar has

been closed since 1985. The National Park Service has agreed to let

the Forest Service use the Lamar.

The park dates back to 1832 when it was the Hot Springs

Reservation. The bathhouses were a popular spot for people seeking

relaxation and a health tonic from the warm underground spring


(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)