Nov/Dec 2011 Issue
This Enhanced Editorial was paid for by a promotional fee from an advertiser.

Join the Fun in Arkansas
Hot Springs Village may be a retirement community, but people do not head there to slow down.

It’s one thing to design a community that caters to retirees and active adults who want to escape to a place where they can live among their peers. It’s wholly another to design one so well that it becomes the largest gated community in the entire country.

Hot Springs TennisBut that is exactly what they have done at Hot Springs Village in central Arkansas. And what they have done is this: turn 26,000 acres of Ouachita Mountain foothills into a playground festooned with nine golf courses, 11 lakes, 26 miles of multipurpose trails, a 13 clay-court tennis center, performing arts center, community center, Recreational Vehicle Park and more.

So, Hot Springs Village’s slogan, “Join the Fun,” is truly an invitation. Indeed, new residents and those buying memberships alike are sure to enjoy to the opportunities before them as they rub elbows with the thousands already in on the fun.

HSV Is Open for Play

One of the greatest draws—if not the greatest draw—of Hot Springs Village is its golf offerings. It is an amenity summed up nicely by John H. Paul, the village’s director of golf.

“The attraction of our courses is the diversity of each one,” Paul said. “Not only are there no two courses alike, there are not two holes in the village that resemble each other—especially when you consider the same architect, Tom Clark, designed all nine of them.

“The courses were built five or six years apart from 1970 until 2006—this helps add to the diversity.”

Hot Springs VillageNot content to rest on its considerable laurels, HSV has consistently updated its layouts. Cortez, the second-oldest in the community, was redone to the tune of $1.5 million in 2006 and reopened in 2008. Paul calls the course of the “absolute best” now. Another course, Magellan, opened in 1996, will undergo the Village’s first Bermuda grass conversion in 2012.

The work is done to ensure the golf offerings match the appetite for game demonstrated by Hot Spring Village’s residents and members. As Paul said, the course diversity is ample, meaning there is a course for every skill level. For instance, Cortez is a championship course and it is known as a shot-maker’s heaven, where precision is key. Magellan, meanwhile, is shorter than most, but a test for all on the greens.

The other courses also bring different attributes to the game. Balboa is walker-friendly, forgiving of some errant shots, but slick on the greens. Coronado is the village’s only executive course, perfect for beginners or those working on their short games. DeSoto is the oldest course in the community; it was renovated in 2001 and is great for all skill levels. Granada is another championship run and may be the village’s most scenic, with rolling hills, forests and creeks vying for attention. Isabella is tough to get on, thanks maybe to its generous landing areas. Ponce de Leon has tree-lined fairways that test low-handicappers, but can be played by duffers as well. Diamante, a private club course in HSV, was designed specifically to be flexible enough to be played by all skill levels.

Also, full practice areas, putting greens and pro shops throughout the village help folks get ready for their rounds and stay in shape, making sure their golf outings are always awesome. On top of that, green fees are equally awesome—18 holes of golf on most courses range from $14 to $18 for property owners to $49 to $69 for non-property owners.

Escape to HSV

As the golfing would suggest, outdoor recreation is tremendous at Hot Springs Village, which is what one would expect from a community boasting 11 lakes, three swimming beaches and outdoor pavilions. What it all means is there are myriad opportunities to partake in waterborne fun, such as boating, fishing, swimming and other sports. Not to mention the chance to enjoy terrestrial time picnicking, playing volleyball or just gathering with friends and family.

The largest of the lakes, Balboa, covers almost 950 acres and possesses one of the beaches and pavilions, as well as a full-service marina. The smallest, Segovia, is just 11 acres, but provides a great place to cool off and relax with a line in the water.

Hot Springs lakesInland, or in some cases adjacent to the water, HSV’s trail system meets the needs of the avid exerciser or the casual walker. Trail users can take in the beautiful scenery surrounding Hot Springs Village while on a hike, golf cart, run or walk, making stepping outside a double benefit—an activity good for the body and mind. Even the state has taken notice, awarding the Village’s Hernando Trail—an eight-mile track—with an Arkansas Governor’s Council on Fitness 2008 Leadership Award. The award recognizes those who positively affect health and fitness in the state.

Of course, there is more in store in HSV, what with the tennis facility, state-of-the-art fitness center, swimming pools, spas, bocce ball, lawn bowling, miniature golf, basketball courts and games building. Throw in the performing arts center, community center and 200-plus clubs and organizations, and one has to wonder if there is any time to do anything besides play. But what a problem to have.

Visit Once, Stay a Lifetime!

There is no doubt it is the recreation that makes Hot Springs Village so attractive, but the amenities of the community do not end there. After all, the village was set up to provide a full-service community to 13,500-plus residents. That includes police, fire and ambulance service, as well as other necessary services anyone would expect from his or her town, such as wastewater and sanitation. Other amenities abound, too, from shopping to restaurants to clubs to churches to businesses to nearby cities like Little Rock, Benton and Hot Springs.

It is all here to make residents and members feel at home. Escape to HSV and join the fun.
For more information about Hot Springs Village, visit Welcome2HSV.com call (501) 922-5556.
For help planning a central Arkansas getaway, contact AAA.com/travel.