Nearly two years after a fire destroyed the iconic Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs, the city is beginning the cleanup, one section at a time.
At a Hot Springs board of directors meeting on Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to hire Spirtas Wrecking Co. of St. Louis for demolition and abatement of the yellow brick section of the hotel.
According to Assistant City Manager Lance Spicer, the $288,884 lump sum will come from the general city fund.
Work is expected to start by the end of the month and will take about six weeks. The city chose the Spirtas Wrecking Co. proposal out of seven submitted.
“There will be nothing there once they’re done,” Spicer said. “This is a domino. We need to drop that domino and continue that progress.”
The section is already partially burned and demolished.
The Majestic Hotel was destroyed in a fire in February 2014, but until August 2015 was owned by Gary Hassenlu of Park Properties LLC in Kansas City. After failed attempts to have Hassenlu clean up the property, the city bought it in August.
“This has been of much importance to the city of Hot Springs and the board of directors and it was definitely a very positive move for downtown Hot Springs,” Spicer said.
The next phase of cleanup will be the abatement and likely demolition of the red brick portion of the hotel, Spicer said. He said that the city would like to have the majority of the work on the five-acre property complete by the end of the year.