Essayist Rex Nelson has two substantial new posts on his colorful, cultural blog, Rex Nelson’s Southern Fried.
Nelson explores the history and future of Hot Springs, explaining that the Spa City is in partial rejuvenation, but needs additional muscle to make it back to its glory days.
In one post, Nelson looks at the good works taking place on Bathhouse Row, which has seen a renaissance of four of its eight famous, free-standing spa buildings.
"The eight bathhouses in Hot Springs are near the top of the list of Arkansas’ greatest cultural assets. It’s good that four of them are now in use. But I see that as being just halfway toward the goal," writes Nelson.
He also sees great potential for the historic hotels that were once vacation resorts for everyone from American Presidents to American gangsters.
Nelson proclaims that Hot Springs, with its horse racing tradition, could emulate a sister city of the north, Saratoga Springs – which also has a horse racing-centric community identity.
It saw a rebirth a few decades ago and Hot Springs could do the same, Nelson argues. You can read his full thoughts at on "Summer in Saratoga and Hot Springs" and "Walking Down Bathhouse Row" at his blog, RexNelsonSouthernFried.com.