Spa City’s Arlington hotel sold
Sky Capital of LR is new owner, first since 1954
The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa, an icon of downtown Hot Springs, has been acquired by Sky Capital Group LP of Little Rock in a private transaction with Southwest Hotels Inc., owners and operators of the Arlington since 1954.
Bob Martorana, the hotel’s general manager, said Monday that the transaction also includes the Wade Building, which is adjacent to the hotel property on Central Avenue; the Schweer Building, a former car dealership located just north of the Wade that serves as the hotel’s parking deck; and a surface parking lot located across Park Avenue from the former site of the Majestic Hotel, also formerly owned by Southwest Hotels.
“We have long had a strong interest in this grand hotel, its rich history and iconic location,” Al Rajabi, CEO of Sky Capital Group, said in a news release.
“We are excited about the continuing renovations of the Arlington, and are pleased to now become a good corporate citizen in one of America’s great resort cities. We plan to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this Arlington in just seven years and will be working to maintain it as one of the great American grand hotels.”
The terms of the sale, including the price, were not
“I think it’s really an exciting time for the hotel. It’s a time where we can look forward to some things; that people can see noticeable changes in the building, and noticeable plans to continue or at least move forward with renovation,” Martorana said.
Sky Capital Group has interviewed all existing employees of the Arlington and extended offers to around 90 percent of the staff, Martorana said.
Martorana, who has been the hotel’s general manager since 2009, said he has accepted an offer to remain as general manager.
Martorana had been general
manager of Four Points Sheraton on University Avenue in Little Rock, which is now owned and operated by Sky Capital Group, before joining the Southwest Hotels Group. At that time, he said, the property was a Hilton and owned by the Peabody Hotel group.
The release said Sky Capital Group has developed, renovated or remodeled more than 30 hotel properties.
“Hot Springs’ tourism and convention industry welcomes the news that the Arlington Hotel & Spa will be under new management that is committed to restoring this pillar of our city’s economic health to its rightful place as one of the city’s important resources,” Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, said in a statement released Monday.
Visit Hot Springs, the city’s convention and visitors bureau, is operated by the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission, which is chaired by Martorana.
“We are ready to get to work to help in any way we can to make the new Arlington once more a proud landmark at the head of Bathhouse Row and a thriving partner in the ongoing renovation and revitalization of our historic downtown district,” Arrison said.
The Arlington has 478 rooms, with amenities that include a spa and thermal bathhouse, a 45,000-square-foot convention center, the Crystal Ballroom, the Venetian Dining Room, mountainside twin cascading pools with hot tub, a Starbucks coffeehouse and the Lobby Bar.
The city of Hot Springs
issued the hotel a notice of unsafe conditions last year after inspecting the property that June. The inspection was conducted after a city director received a complaint about the condition of the hotel.
Chief building inspector Mike Scott said in February that some of the exterior problems cited in the June 2016 notice had received temporary repairs. He said the hotel spent $200,000 on roof and exterior repairs since receiving the notice. Scott said the hotel planned to fix the conference center roof at a cost of $120,000.
The city said the hotel quickly addressed the electrical concerns raised in the notice, as well as the rotted bracing supporting the pool deck.
Pedestrians walk up the stairs at the Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa in Hot Springs on Monday. Sky Capital Group LP of Little Rock is buying the Arlington from Southwest Hotels Inc., owners and operators of the hotel since 1954.