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City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

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Contact(s):Mark Webre
Interim Director
Little Rock Parks and Recreation
501-371-4770

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Tuesday, January 10, 2006

CITY SIGNS COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH GROUP FOR FIREHOUSE HOSTEL

The City of Little Rock officially signed a cooperative agreement with Hostelling Arkansas, Inc. to take the next step toward the development of the Firehouse Hostel in MacArthur Park.

Hostelling Arkansas, Inc., is a non-profit organization developing a hostel in Little Rock in the former Fire Station # Two at 12th and Commerce. The 4,663 square foot 1917 craftsman style building is located in MacArthur Park and is a contributing structure in the MacArthur Park Historic District.

Hostelling Arkansas, Inc. will coordinate the project in a Cooperative Agreement with Little Rock Parks and Recreation and with the assistance of the Little Rock Convention and Visitor Bureau. The Little Rock Fire Department (LRFD) has offered volunteer help, historic firefighters' memorabilia, and equipment (including a brass pole and 1933 and 1955 fire trucks) for use in the building. The stairwells, walls and ceilings of the common rooms will be decorated with historic LRFD equipment, pictures and records dating back to the 1870's.

Hostelling Arkansas, Inc. will affiliate with Hostelling International-American Youth Hostels (HI-AYH), which was founded in 1934. That body will act as consultants and supply support for start-up. HI-AYH hostels have been developed in castles, ships, coast guard stations, lighthouses, villas, haciendas and historic homes and hotels. Through this affiliation, the hostel will be referred to as HI - Little Rock, The Firehouse Hostel and Museum.

The Firehouse Hostel will not be the first to include a museum as many have "Historic Treasure" status. Future plans call for the engine bay to be redesigned to house the fire trucks as well as the indoor-outdoor dining area and kitchen. The Firehouse Hostel is creating a hostel so unique they believe generate word-of-mouth business.

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