Arkansas' Iconic Meeting Venues Getting Facelift

by Todd Traub  on Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 12:00 am  

Everything Old Is New Again. At least that’s the case with some of Arkansas’ most established and well-known venues.

Meeting planners, when doing what they do best, now have — or will soon have — some revamped spaces to consider in Little Rock, Hot Springs and Mena.

Hot Springs’ storied Arlington Hotel, the current version of which was completed in 1924, finished renovations to its Crystal Ballroom more than a year ago and expected to have upgrades to its convention center completed by fall.

Work at 38-year-old Queen Wilhelmina Lodge, atop Rich Mountain near Mena, is ongoing and visitors will soon be able to savor extensive remodels and upgrades, inside and out.

And in Little Rock, the Robinson Center Auditorium is moving ahead with extensive plans to improve and increase the size of the facility that was dedicated in 1940.

Arlington general manager Bob Martorana said the upgrades to the hotel and convention center were necessary not only for the sake of improvement but to help the Arlington continue to compete for business with other venues in Arkansas.

“With additional spaces that are built around the state we felt like we really needed to stay current with the state of the art as much as we could,” he said.

The 5,600-SF Crystal Ballroom now has new, maple hardwood floors, carpet, ornate drapes, large mirrors and paint. The crystal chandeliers — which give the room its name —were cleaned, polished and refinished with restored brass and updated lights. The art emblems and sconces have new gold paint.

The ballroom seats 300 for dinner, a dance or reception. Theatre seating is 400.

Not to be outdone, the Arlington’s convention center has been putting the finishing touches on its own remodel.

Martora said the goal was to maintain the facility’s architectural legacy while modernizing at the same time.

With that in mind, renovation of the 8,240-SF convention center includes new and additional ceiling light fixtures with LED dimmable capabilities. These “green” projects will more than double the number of fixtures prior to the remodeling but actually lower electricity usage.

 

 

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