HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — The new owner of an Arkansas hotel is challenging an enforcement letter from Hot Springs officials threatening to close the hotel amid public safety concerns.

The city issued the letter this month, following an engineering report that said the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa is unsafe, The Sentinel-Record reported. The hotel has until November to remedy the concerns.

The action filed with the Hot Springs Board of Zoning Adjustments on behalf of Sky Capital Group LP says the enforcement letter isn’t compliant with the notice and order provision of the city’s property maintenance code.

Specific violations won’t be listed until citations are issued, city officials said.

The filing also challenges the city’s authority to close the hotel, saying that such action is for the courts to decide.

“Only a court — not the city — has the authority to convict and punish violations of the Hot Springs code of ordinances,” the filing said. “Accordingly, the purported decision pronounced in the letter— closure of the hotel — is beyond the city’s authority and is, therefore, illegal.”

Sky Capital said in its filing that the November deadline is “arbitrary” and based only on meteorological projections of freezing temperatures by that date.

“(The deadline) is based not on a reasonable assessment of the time required to complete the design, approval and work, but on the entirely hypothetical date on which a forecast weather event is just as likely to occur as it is not to occur,” the filing said.

Sky Capital Group LP said the threat of closure has cost the hotel and area economy $1 million. Sky Capital is planning a $30 million restoration that will allow the hotel to remain open during construction.


Information from: The Sentinel-Record, http://www.hotsr.com