A new $10 million resort called Pine Mountain is planned for Eureka Springs, and it’s expected to create more than 100 hospitality jobs in the community.
The resort is the brainchild of chef-entrepreneur Marshall Johnson and his father, Paul Johnson, who owns the property, as well as the Pig Trail Harley-Davidson dealerships in Rogers and Eureka Springs. Marshall Johnson owns the Rockin’ Pig Saloon in Eureka Springs.
Plans for the redevelopment of Pine Mountain Village, Pine Mountain Jamboree and about 40 acres of adjoining forested hills include two farm-to-table restaurants, a fast-casual cafe, 15 cabins, boutique shopping, a 200-person event center and what’s described as a “mountain adventureland.”
The restaurants will offer 100% full-blood Japanese Black Wagyu and American Wagyu beef farmed as well as 100% Heritage Angus cuts. There will be an observation tower overlooking the city’s downtown, the Ozark hills and the Crescent Hotel, the Johnsons say.
Marshall Johnson said the project — a mix of new construction and renovations — will be done in three phases. Construction is set for completion by the fall. Shea Design of Minneapolis is handling architectural and design services; the contractor is C.R. Crawford Construction of Fayetteville.
“This is a great time to develop an exciting, multi-faceted tourism destination like Pine Mountain in Eureka Springs,” Johnson said in a news release. “We’re the backyard playground for the booming northwest Arkansas population. Mountain biking and motorcycling in the Ozarks are getting national and international notoriety, and Eureka Springs is this jewel of a destination that has drawn a crowd for more than a century.”
The cabins will have bike-in-bike-out access to three miles of hiking/biking trails on the property, with connectors to area trails, surface roads and downtown. There will also be an expansive parking lot where Pine Mountain will continue the property’s tradition of hosting Corvette, Mustang and VW club car shows.
Johnson told Arkansas Business by phone Wednesday that his family has been successfully doing business in Eureka Springs for 10 years.
“There’s a lot of new things going on in northwest Arkansas surrounding outdoor adventure: cycling, mountain biking, a lot of investment taking place,” he said. “We bought that property five years ago. It was a shopping center, a 650-seat theater, jamboree theater, and it was basically like 40 acres of land, wooded, land, that backup to downtown Eureka.
“We had ideas of trying to get cycling, and, obviously we drive motorcycle traffic to Eureka Springs with the Harley business. So the town has a good history of tourism. Multiple different types of tourists frequent Eureka. There’s weddings; it’s a huge destination for weddings. You’ve just got a different, versatile group of people that go there. We basically designed a very multifaceted, hospitality resort-type destination to attract multiple types of tourism to the property.”
Johnson added that the new trail systems built or planned in the community, such as the Lake Leatherwood Gravity Trails and the The Great Passion Play trail system, were a big factor in the decision to move forward with the Pine Mountain project.
Johnson said they want the property to be a family-friendly destination, and he believes it will have a big economic impact on Eureka Springs.
Kyle Johnson, Marshall’s brother and general manager of the Harley-Davidson dealership, said the resort will appeal to “our Hog-riding community; they’ve already told us so.”
Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, said Pine Mountain has the potential to drive area tourism “to a new level.”