What's New for 2020 in Southwest Arkansas
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort expansion
Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort,formerly known as Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, is a Thoroughbred racetrack and casino in Hot Springs. What’s new here is big news and includes a $100 million expansion which includes 28,000 square feet of additional gaming space and a high-rise luxury hotel and multipurpose event center overlooking the track.
CONTACT: 2705 Central Ave., Hot Springs; Jennifer Hoyt, Media Relations Manager: 501-623-4411 ex. 491; oaklawn.com
Crystal Ridge Distillery
Distillery, restaurant and bar in Hot Springs.
CONTACT: 455 Broadway St, Hot Springs, crystalridgedistillery.com
Northwoods System of biking trails
A planned 44.6-mile system of mountain biking trails on the city-owned Northwoods/Cedar Glades properties in the northern section of Hot Springs. Phase One is complete and Phase Two is in the works.
CONTACT: Visit Hot Springs, hotsprings.org
A unique chance to stay on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park is now available. The Hale Bathhouse, one of the former bathhouses on the famous row, has been remodeled into the Hotel Hale. Built in the early 1890s, this historic boutique hotel at 341 Central Avenue was originally a bathhouse connected to one of the local hot springs the city is famous for. Known as the Hale Bathhouse, it stands out as the oldest visible structure on Bathhouse Row today.
CONTACT: 341 Central Ave; hotelhale.com
Murphy Arts District in El Dorado
The Murphy Arts District, MAD, is a two-phase creation of an entertainment district aimed at revitalizing downtown El Dorado. The first phase is complete and involved turning the 1928 Griffin Auto Co. Building, once a fuel station and showroom for Model T Fords, into The Griffin, a farm-to-table restaurant flanked by a cabaret lounge and a 2,000-seat music hall. The lawn outside The Griffin is now an outdoor amphitheater that can accommodate 8,000 people, with an adjacent farmer's market and two-acre, free-admission playscape for kids. The second phase will entail renovating the 1920s Rialto Theater (on the National Register of Historic Places, along with the Griffin Building) and turning the adjacent McWilliams building into a 10,000-square-foot art gallery with artist-in-residence quarters.
CONTACT: 100 W. Cedar St., Suite A, El Dorado. 870-363-4547; www.eldomad.com.
A number of cities in Arkansas have created entertainment districts that allows patrons of bars and restaurants within the established district to carry their alcoholic beverages outside those businesses. Among the cities the Southwest Arkansas that have these districts are Texarkana and El Dorado.