The old Lane Hotel in downtown Rogers sets vacant, not in decay yet, but empty since 2003. I pass by it often, on my way to the busier parts of town. Like most cities, our downtown area struggles to stay active. Main Street Rogers tries very hard to keep the historic heartbeat of the downtown area alive, but it's an expensive project.
Listed on the National Historic Register, the Lane Hotel was built in 1928, and for the time was considered the first fireproof building in Arkanasas. In the beginning it drew the famous... Amelia Earhart, boxer Jack Dempsey and even actor Errol Flynn. But over the years, the five story hotel somehow became less attractive to those coming through Rogers. Changing names through 6 owners, it remained a hotel until 1999 when Peachtree Assisted Living tried to breathe life into the old building. Since then it has set empty at the corner of Second and Poplar, regal still even at the age of 83. The problem is finding a buyer with the money to refurbish the inside, an expensive project that is risky considering that it's in the old part of town far from the interstate where most visitors spend the night at Hyatts or Holiday Inns. I would venture to guess you probably have similar old buildings in your community, setting empty, waiting for someone who has the means to bring it back. I've wondered so many times, passing the old hotel... what could it be turned into that would be profitable for the community? Any ideas?