Web Extra: History of the Majestic Hotel

By KARK 4 News

Published 02/27 2014 10:28PM

Updated 02/27 2014 10:33PM

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Abandoned Arkansas) -- When the yellow brick building opened in 1893, it was a modern, 20th-century hotel that quickly became a popular spot for tourists and athletes. According to “Majestic Hotel: The History of a Grande Dame,” an article by Garland County Historical Society secretary Isabel B. Anthony, Babe Ruth frequented the Majestic. The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Red Sox also stayed at the hotel for their spring training and fitness programs. As tourists continued to pour into Hot Springs, the hotel expanded, with an eight-story, red-brick addition to the west of the yellow-brick building in 1926. Also in the ‘20s, another well-known visitor began showing up in town. In the mid-’30s, new spa facilities were added to the Majestic.

While tourists visiting the city’s bathhouses had to leave their hotels and walk down the street for their spa therapy, guests at the Majestic simply walked down the hall.The 1963 addition of the Lanai Tower brought the Majestic’s guest room total to 400. But the hotel’s heyday couldn’t last forever. Despite more updates and additions to the Majestic over the years, the shutdown of illegal gambling in 1964 took a toll on the popularity of the Majestic and other Hot Springs hotels.

The Majestic underwent further renovations through the ‘80s and ‘90s, but nothing seemed to attract the crowds that had flocked to the hotel during its glory days. As the Majestic entered the 21st century, its days were numbered. The downtown hotel was closed in 2006 after 124 years of operation.

Click here for pictures from inside the hotel from Abandoned Arkansas.

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