Al Rajabi, Texas-based CEO of the investment group that purchased the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, has taken to Facebook to complain about city officials. The statement echoes remarks at a civic club meeting earlier this week.

You can read it all here.

The city has been pressing the hotel over poor maintenance and safety code violations in a number of rooms. Rajabi said threats to close the hotel if all repairs aren’t made are hurting the rehab effort. Rajabi said he is close to award contracts for fixing water leaks in the roof and towers.

He notes he’s been owner for only six weeks.


We still have a lot of work to do in restoring the entire hotel. But we need to start on areas that you will not see immediate results on. They have to be done first in order for us to start the interior work.

I’ve requested meetings with city directors, who all refuse to meet with me, afraid of the backlash they may get by talking to me. I’m not the problem. I’m the solution.

In other towns where I’ve done projects, people have been delighted and provided all kinds of support and incentives to help me bring my projects to life. I have yet to meet with a single city official of Hot Springs who has offered to provide any support or guidance for the Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa.

City officials can speak for themselves. But they’ve been witnesses to years of steady deterioration at the Arlington. The family that sold it to Rajabi’s group is financing most of the purchase. Their stewardship and sale of another Hot Springs property, the Majestic Hotel, turned into an expensive city headache. A city investment in the Arlington, or even more forbearance — particularly given the willingness of other investors to put equity into nearby projects in Hot Springs — sounds like a pipe dream to me.

Hat tip to blog reader Durango, who tipped this developing story first in a comment on the Arkansas Blog open line Wednesday night. The local newspaper reported on it today.