Archive for June, 2011

Just for fun. (Don’t yell at me if you don’t like your state’s stereotype. Yell at the guy who wrote the book.)

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Hot Springs Is Cool

Can you visualize a business in this evocative space? Submit a proposal to the National Parks Service and it could be yours.

It’s not that we don’t love you anymore and it’s not that we’ve stopped traveling. It’s just that…oh hell, I have no excuse. I’m busy, yes, but am I really too busy to check in here now and then? Say hello? Tell you a little bit of this and that? I’m ashamed. And I miss our high-flyin’ Flyover America days. I know…you’ve heard it all before. We make promises we don’t keep… .

At any rate, among the trips I’ve taken recently was a jaunt to Hot Springs, Arkansas. The last time I was in Hot Springs, it was kind of, um, worn down. It’s a pretty part of the country, but the fabulous old bathhouses that comprise Hot Springs National Park (there’s Hot Springs the city and Hot Springs the park) sat mostly empty and dejected. You could peer in, but you couldn’t go in and they had nothing to offer but memories.

That’s changing, as the NPS is doing basic restoration on them (cleaning out the asbestos, fixing the wiring, adding heat and air-conditioning) and renting them out. I wrote all about it in a story for The Dallas Morning News. Maybe you’ve been dreaming about dropping out of the rat race and opening a business someplace lovely? This could be your opportunity. Just remember, though, that opening a business in a tourist town is its own sort of rat race….or maybe a country mouse race. Less vicious, perhaps, but no less exhausting.

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