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