Business Springs Still in Hot Springs Village

Despite the influence of COVID-19, an Arkansas timeshare resort continues to thrive

BY ANDY HAMMEL | PUBLISHED JUNE 19, 2020

Hot Springs Village, Ark., June 18, 2020 - The entrance to Los Lagos at Hot Springs Village, a timeshare resort outside an Arkansas resort city. Photo: Andy Hammel

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In a time when travel is advised against for some, strictly prohibited for others, and somewhere in between for everyone else, it makes sense that businesses like hotels and timeshare resorts would suffer financially. Earlier in the pandemic, at least in some places, that was the story. Now, as states progress in their own time with shuttering and reopening their economies, businesses built on travel don’t find themselves operating in a unilateral national climate.


At Los Lagos – a timeshare resort on the front of Arkansas’ Lake DeSoto – the grip of the virus hasn’t squeezed out visitors.


Edna Melton, the general manager of Los Lagos, described the number of visitors she’s received over the summer as being a pleasant surprise. Visitors from the areas of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Orleans were still prohibited in compliance with Arkansas’ state policy, but the remaining visitors were enough to maintain an occupancy level not terribly worse than other years.


That doesn’t mean Los Lagos looks like it would any other year, however. In order to comply with the state, the amenities on-site at Los Lagos are closed off. A playground near the center of the compound is enclosed by caution tape. Both of the resorts’ pools – one for general use, one for adults – are covered. The clubhouse at the former pool, which also serves as a registration point for entering guests, strictly enforces a policy of one guest per party entering the facility and no more than one guest being inside to register at a time. Every other service provided by the clubhouse is cancelled.


With the customers still coming, however, those closures only serve to drive them to nearby, off-site attractions.


“We’re not as busy,” said Janine Briggle, an employee at The Waypoint at DeSoto Marina, a café located a few paces away from Los Lagos’ earliest units. “But they are coming to the marina more often.


The café and marina have each taken their own precautions, but neither is held to the standard of Los Lagos.


“It’s the Property Owners Association,” said Melissa Romero, another café employee. “They own The Waypoint.”


As far as the greater reopening process, Melton and Briggle both cited the state of Arkansas entering ‘Phase 3’ of their plan to reopen the economy, which hasn’t been announced. The state only officially entered Phase 2 this Monday, June 14.

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