Remember the tweet from Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. on December 9, 2018 about the possibility of Topgolf opening in Little Rock in 2019?
It has been one of his economic development strategies for Little Rock, and now the city is seeking proposals for a “golf entertainment facility” such as Topgolf at War Memorial Park. A request for proposals was issued on July 1 and will close on July 22 at 3:30 p.m.
According to the proposal, the city would lease 18 acres of the formerly War Memorial Park Golf Course near South University Avenue and West Sixth Street. It closed last summer due to budget issues. Afterwards, Scott convened a task force to consider new uses for the park and make recommendations to the city of Little Rock Board of Directors.
Local food blog Rock City Eats first reported the request for proposals on Thursday, July 9.
After multiple news reports of the request for proposals, Stephanie Jackson, communications director for the mayor’s office, emailed the following statement:
The City hopes and anticipates that it will receive multiple proposals from businesses interested in creating a golf entertainment or entertainment leisure site at War Memorial Park. This RFP was not tailored for a specific business, and in fact it is written so that various companies may submit a proposal. While the R3 Parks Task Force did not recommend a golf entertainment site at War Memorial Park, a golf entertainment site would align with the Task Force’s recommendations. Additionally, the Task Force recommendations to create a multi-purposed park including a regional youth sports complex, trails, and enhanced public green spaces remains a top priority for the Park’s close to 90 acres.
The city’s assistant purchasing manager Derrick Rainey said no responses had been received as of Friday, July 10, but all responses will be sealed until the bid period closes.
For the city to lease parkland to a private business, the city Board of Directors must pass an ordinance for the project to proceed, so it will be interesting to see what happens after July 22 once proposals have closed.
Topgolf opened its first location in the state in Rogers in March with an 11-acre facility.