Hot Springs Has Eyes on New Talent

What better place for high-tech than in Arkansas’ most historic city?

Hot Springs offers plenty of art, culture, scenic beauty and yes, history, to thoroughly modern businesses looking for a place to settle.

“We’re not a smokestack community, and we don’t want to be,” said Dave Byerly, President/CEO of the Hot Springs Metro Partnership and The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce. “Our greatest asset is our natural beauty and the wealth of recreational and entertainment opportunities we offer, and we plan to use that as our draw for locating information-based companies for whom geography isn’t an issue.

Businesses like the Learning Institute, which recently moved into new quarters in a renovated downtown building, are typical of the economic growth Hot Springs wants to encourage. A few blocks off historic Bathhouse Row, the five-year-old educational software and assessment company has grown from 1 employee to 30 and from one school district customer to more than 200, and the growth shows no signs of stopping.

“If you can be anywhere, why not be in the middle of pristine scenery, lakes and trails for boating, swimming and hiking, and a thriving arts community?” Byerly said.

Among the amenities Hot Springs offers are a world-class classical music festival, as well as jazz, blues and folk festivals; the 20-year-old and highly-regarded Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival; Oaklawn Park thoroughbred racing; a vibrant live music club scene downtown and elsewhere around the city; more than 20 art galleries; live theater; four lakes within a 30-minute drive; rivers and creeks for canoeing; a national park, a national forest, and three state parks for camping, hiking and swimming.

“The kind of person who wants to live among all this is the person we want to bring his or her business to Hot Springs,” Byerly said.