HBG Design is Architect Behind “One of the Largest Hospitality Investments in the History of Arkansas”

Article in Arkansas Business

by Sarah Campbell-Miller and Lance Turner  on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 10:58 am

Less than two weeks after voters approved casino gambling in Arkansas, Oaklawn Racing and Gaming on Monday announced a $100 million expansion that will include a 200-room high-rise hotel, a 14,000-SF event center and 28,000 SF of new gaming space.

The racetrack called the project “one of the largest hospitality investments in the history of Arkansas.” The project is privately funded; it did not receive any state or local incentives.

“This historic announcement represents a new chapter in the rich 114-year history of Oaklawn,” Louis Cella, president of Oaklawn Jockey Club, said in a news release. “As we enhance the entertainment experience for our customers, we will also further elevate thoroughbred racing and help make Arkansas and Hot Springs even stronger regional tourism destinations.

During an event at Oaklawn to announce the expansion, Cella said the project would be “world-class,” secure Oaklawn’s future and maintain its status as “one of the top thoroughbred race tracks in the country.”

Oaklawn General Manager Wayne Smith said the expansion will result in 400 permanent jobs. Construction will employ about 2,300 people.

The yet-unnamed hotel will be seven stories with 200 rooms, including two presidential suites. Amenities will include an outdoor swimming pool, a luxury spa, fitness center and restaurant, according to Oaklawn’s plans.

Smith said half of hotel’s rooms will offer “one-of-a-kind” views of the track; the other half will have mountain and lake views. He said the goal for the hotel is to achieve “4-star status.”

There will also be more parking, and outdoor patios in the gaming area and restaurant that will face the track. The events center will accommodate up to 1,500 people.

Construction will begin in May following the 2019 racing season. The target completion date for the gaming expansion is January 2020 with the hotel and event center to be completed in late 2020.

By a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent, Arkansas voters approved this month Issue 4, an amendment to the state Constitution allowing casinos at two existing racetracks — Oaklawn and Southland Racing and Gaming in West Memphis — and in Pope and Jefferson counties.

Oaklawn did not take a side during the campaign for the casino amendment, led by a group called Driving Arkansas Forward. But Southland voiced support for the measure, saying it would significantly expand its Crittenden County operation if the measure passed.

On Monday, Cella said Oaklawn had been planning for this expansion for some time.

“While one may assume that today’s announcement comes in response to the passage of Issue 4 on November 6, we actually began planning for this during our last expansion in 2014,” he said. “Our goal then, as it is now, is to use a quality gaming experience to enhance racing and help attract even more great champions to Arkansas such as Smarty Jones, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah.”

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who also attended Monday’s announcement, said Oaklawn executives told him about the expansion in October and added that the passage of Issue 4 wasn’t “relevant” to the park’s plans.

“It is important to underscore and emphasize this is a commitment to Arkansas; it’s a commitment to Hot Springs that we value,” Hutchinson said. “Tourism is our second-leading industry in Arkansas. It’s the second-leading economic driver for our state. … Fifteen-hundred people receive a job during the peak of the season here at Oaklawn. That’s a $200 million economic impact.”

Kane Web, director of Arkansas Parks & Tourism, and Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison also spoke at the announcement.

“Christmas came early to Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas,” Arrison said. “… I’m saying ‘wow’ to the meeting space. This will complement the meeting space we have down at the Hot Springs Convention Center. It’s not going to compete with it. It’s going to make more and more groups look at us.”

HBG Design of Memphis is the architectural firm for the expansion. Flintco Construction of Springdale is the contractor.

$225M One Beale riverfront development to open with Hyatt Centric hotel, apartments, dining

“It’s really a hotel that caters to people who want to explore the city. The mission all along has been to create a unique project for Memphis.” – Mark Weaver, FAIA, Principal and lead architectural designer for the Hyatt Centric hotel at One Beale.

Check out how this new hotel at the foot of Beale Street will enhance the downtown experience, in this article from High Ground News!

First of Its Kind: Four Winds Casino moves Indian Gaming into Indiana

“Our team has worked to strategically enhance the design quality and aesthetic over [Four Winds Casino’s] four-property, now multi-state, brand.” – Paul Bell, AIA, Project Manager/Principal, HBG Design

Read more about how Four Winds South Bend expanded its presence as the first tribal casino in the state of Indiana in Global Gaming Business’ Casino Style Magazine, 2018.

Carlisle, LLC announces One Beale Hotel and Office Development Partners

Downtown Memphis’ One Beale development to commence construction in early 2019

HBG Design is architect and interior designer for the Hyatt Centric project at One Beale.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (July 24, 2018) – Carlisle, LLC announced today that the highly-anticipated One Beale development has selected its partners and plans to start construction in January 2019.

Originally envisioned by the late Gene Carlisle in 2004, One Beale will break ground on its transformative downtown riverfront development. Since the initial announcement, One Beale has expanded to include the historic Ellis Machine Shop buildings recently acquired by Carlisle as part of an overall two-year plan redesign.

Today, with over 5.5 riverfront acres, Carlisle has master planned its new Beale St. riverfront development at Beale Street as a mixed-use, multi-parcel development comprising of a hotel, residential, retail and office spaces, along with a public parking garage. Preliminary financials value the total development at $225 million, with the first phase estimated at $130 million starting in January.

One Beale will serve as a gateway to the sports and entertainment district of Beale Street, connecting Memphis’ world class but underdeveloped riverfront to one of America’s most iconic streets.

“My dad had a saying that ‘people and cities define themselves by their buildings, and as a native Memphian, I could not be prouder of what One Beale says about our city’s culturally rich past and our promising future,” said Chance Carlisle, CEO of Carlisle, LLC.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced its plans to develop a Hyatt Centric hotel. This boutique hotel brand is built in the hearts of vibrant, world-renowned gateway cities such as Tokyo, Miami, San Francisco and New Orleans — and now, Memphis. The full-service, four-star Hyatt Centric hotel will host 227 rooms, along with 15,000 square feet of conference and meeting space on famed Beale Street, and will include the renovation of historic Ellis Machine Shop as part of its conference center. The hotel will feature a new riverfront restaurant, outdoor pool plaza and rooftop lounge with amazing views of downtown and the Mississippi River. Hyatt Hotels will be a 50 percent joint venture owner of the hotel and manage the hotel through a long-term management agreement.

Carlisle will also be developing a separate, mixed-use residential apartment building that will offer 227 high-end living spaces for families and individuals, contributing to the ever-growing, in-demand residential real estate of Downtown Memphis. Construction on this building will begin in conjunction with the Hyatt Centric and will offer up to 15,000 square feet of office space as well as approximately 10,000 square feet of riverfront restaurant space. This downtown destination fulfills multiple purposes as a space to live, work and eat.

As part of Phase 2, Highwoods Properties is seeking to develop 200,000–400,000 square feet of Class A office development at 1 Beale St., the development’s most prestigious address. The company is working with the Memphis Chamber of Commerce and Carlisle to secure an “anchor tenant” with construction contingent on finding a large office customer.

Building on the success of Catherine and Mary’s at The Chisca, Carlisle is teaming up again with Memphis Culinary trendsetters Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman to open the downtown core’s first riverfront restaurant. These two James Beard nominated chefs have crafted immensely popular restaurant experiences at their other eateries, such as the Gray Canary and Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen.

In addition to the retail, living and working spaces of One Beale, Carlisle plans to include a seven-story parking garage with 475 parking spots to serve the entire riverfront neighborhood. Funded by the Downtown Parking Authority, the garage will begin construction along with the multifamily, mixed-use building.

During construction, Younger Associates estimates that the first Phase 1 of One Beale will produce nearly 1,484 full time jobs over its two year construction timeframe and have an economic impact of $294 million dollars to the region. The City of Memphis and Shelby County will collect in excess of $1.8 million dollars of tax revenue.

Once the development reaches stabilized occupancy, One Beale will create 423 full time equivalent jobs generating $11.3 million dollars in local wages and $2.25 million per year in additional city/county tax revenue.

General contractors for the project will be announced toward the end of this year. Completion of the first phase of the project is scheduled for late 2020.

For more information about One Beale, please visit carlislecorp.com .



Carlisle is a Memphis-based real estate and specialty hospitality company. Carlisle is a franchisee of The Wendy’s Company and a leader in commercial real estate development. Carlisle is a family-founded and owned business which employs approximately 6,000 employees across 7 states. For more information, visit www.carlislecorp.com

Four Winds South Bend Makes Its Mark


Choctaw Casino & Resort – Grant Celebrates Major Expansion with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

GRANT, Okla., (November 3, 2017) – Choctaw Casino & Resort – Grant celebrated today the completion of a $50 million expansion project that has created more than 100 new jobs for local residents. The expanded resort and gaming amenities include the new West Wingtower with 96 well-appointed rooms including 23 suites, a deluxe resort pool, an exclusive poker room, the country’s only Chili’s Grill & Bar located in a casino, and more.

“This is a proud day for the Choctaw Nation to celebrate progress in Choctaw Country,” Chief Gary Batton told the crowd of state and local government officials, tribal leaders, and supporters. “As Choctaws, we strive to better the lives not just of our people, but all of whom we interact with,” he said standing in front of the hotel’s new West Tower.

“Located just a short drive north of Paris, Texas, many of our returning guests do so because they enjoy the resort’s features and our gaming opportunities,” explained Chris Scrivner Senior Director of Gaming Operations, Choctaw Casinos & Resorts. “To meet the growing public’s demand for affordable luxury, we’ve created a beautiful, state-of-the art property. The rooms are stylish but comfortable, and the suites have a great view of our new pool and pool bar. We also upgraded the lobby to create an arrival experience that is by far the best in the area for our guests. We’re already booking those rooms and suites for the holidays, and especially New Year’s Eve. This year, with 96 additional rooms, we’re looking forward to celebrating with more guests than ever before,” Scrivner said.

A new, exclusive poker room features five tables away from the hustle and bustle of the casino floor, with its own dedicated staff who are there to ensure the environment that poker players demand.

Delicious new food and beverage options include Chili’s Grill & Bar and Cove Café, offering made-to-order sandwiches, pizzas, pastries and desserts. Firehouse Grill and Buffet added 48 more seats.

The celebration continues all month long with fun and exciting events including a headline concert performance by Martina McBride, November 3rd in the Grant Event Center. Future concerts include Turnpike Troubadours on December 29th and Midland on January 13th. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster. The River Bar and Grill features Karaoke everyTuesday at 8 pm and live entertainment every Friday starting at 9:30 pm. One can also catch their favorite sporting event on the big screen TV while enjoying a cold beer.

“A Grander Grand Opening” $100,000 giveaway kicks off on November 4th and continues every Saturday in November. The “Tailgate in the Party Pit” promotion continues in November with Hot Seat drawings from 3 pm to 8 pm for Tailgate party SWAG and Grand Prize Drawings for $500 in Chips at 8 pm.

In addition, between November 12th and November 25th, players can earn credits to win a National Finals Rodeo Vegas Trip. Sixteen “Rapid Fire” drawings for $1,000 in Free Play will be held on Friday, November 17th from 9 pm to 12:45 am.

# # #

About Choctaw Casino & Resort in Grant, Okla.

Choctaw Casino & Resort – Grant offers gaming, dining, live entertainment and more – all in one convenient Southeastern Oklahoma location. Perfect for a quick getaway or staycation, the resort is located just a short drive from Paris, Texas. The resort boasts new features and amenities as a result of an expansion project completed in November of 2017. Enjoy the newly expanded resort with 156 well-appointed rooms and suites, a pool with private cabanas, a new poker room and diverse dining options including Chili’s Grill & Bar. Also be sure to check out the headliner entertainment at the Grant Event Center. For more information, visit choctawcasinos.com.


Photo by Deidre Elrod/Choctaw Nation

Chief Gary Batton, Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr., members of the Choctaw Tribal Council, tribal members, local dignitaries and friends of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma assist Chris Scrivner, Senior Director of Gaming Operations and Shanis Goodson, General Manager cut the ribbon to open the new West Wing of the of Choctaw Resort & Casino – Grant.

Read more:The Gilmer Mirror – Choctaw Casino Resort Grant Celebrates Major Expansion with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Four Winds South Bend Scheduled to be Complete in Early 2018

The first phase of the casino will be 175,000 square feet of gaming and will include restaurants, player's lounge, coffee shop, bars, retail outlets and a parking garage. The casino is scheduled to be complete in early 2018.

HBG Designs an Experience at The Guest House at Graceland Hotel

See Full Story in The Globe and Mail

“I took off my shoe and put it on the table. I said, ‘It needs to be that kind of red,’” says Priscilla Presley, describing how she explained to a group of designers the shade to be used in a suite at the Graceland Guest House modeled on Elvis’s bedroom.

Interior Scene of The Guest House Palm Springs Suite Bedroom

The 450-room hotel opened in October 2016 as part of a $137-million (U.S.) investment in the Whitehaven area – the biggest hospitality project Memphis has seen in over 90 years. Presley, an actor and businessperson, who was married to Elvis from 1967 to 1973, had a consulting role in the project and oversaw the design of 20 signature suites, which are considered the jewel in the four-star-hotel’s crown.

Working alongside Memphis-based DreamCatcher Hotels, the development company managing the design and construction, and architecture and interiors firm HBG Design, Presley weighed in on everything from materials to palettes. “She would collaborate on the colours and the patterns and tell us what Elvis would have liked,” says Mark Weaver, HBG principal architect and lead designer for the property. “Elvis was certainly an innovator in terms of fashion and so she was able to communicate that to us, with him not being here, of course.”

Engaging Presley in the design process provides the Guest House at Graceland with an authentic connection to the history of the area, something many companies are striving for. “When hotel designers choose to incorporate details that hearken back to another era or speak to that location or specific roots, it makes the overall hotel and the overall guest stay that much more unique and more memorable,” says Deanna Ting, hospitality editor at travel industry research firm Skift. She adds that increased vintage detailing speaks to travellers’ growing desires for unique experiences and the stories that come with them.

The lobby’s ceiling element was inspired by Elvis’ performance cape.

Since the early days of boutique hotels in the late 1990s, such as the Standard in Los Angeles, there has been a romanticizing of vintage design. But today, modernizing that retro aesthetic is a key ambition for independent hotels, which strive to differentiate themselves from chains – and not just in major cities. Another great example of this, says Ting, is the Dwell Hotel in Chattanooga, Tenn., which has stellar Mad Men-style vignettes dotted throughout.

That perfect shade of red that Presley was after – a rich, rosy crimson – is most visible in the 1,600-square-feet King’s Suite 1, which is inspired by Elvis’s Memphis bedroom. As a group, the suites are referred to as the Upstairs, a reference to the private living quarters at next door’s Graceland, an area that remains off limits to visitors today. “They are inspired by homes that Elvis and I lived in,” says Presley, who had a hand in decorating many of their dwellings.

In King’s Suite 1, four vibrant red easy chairs create a focal point in the sitting-room area. The colour is echoed in plush velvet curtains flanking the giant bed and creating a canopy above it, in the centre of which is a flatscreen TV.

“Back in Graceland, in his bedroom Elvis had a TV mounted over his bed, but it was a tube television,” says Weaver. “People couldn’t believe that’s what he had, but he was very into the latest technology.”

Other modern twists are prevalent throughout the suite. Take the white, graphic light hanging above the bar: It’s inspired by the fireplace the couple had in their California residence. “The Palm Springs house was very eccentric, modern and the fireplace had this hour-glass shape, so we took that and made a light fixture with it,” says Weaver. There was a careful mandate to not exactly replicate Elvis’s previous abodes or to overshadow Graceland, he says, adding, “The research was the fun part – reinterpreting what Elvis would have done today.” Popularity of today’s retro re-imagining aside, it’s unsurprising a property like the Guest House at Graceland in Memphis would enlist the design influence of Priscilla Presley, says Ting. “It’s part of telling the story of Graceland and it just adds to the overall experience in a way that’s hard to replicate, well, anywhere else.

Travel and accommodation for Alex Laws was provided by Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Guest House at Graceland. The companies did not review or approve this article prior to publication.

Visit tgam.ca/newsletters to sign up for the Globe Style e-newsletter, your weekly digital guide to the players and trends influencing fashion, design and entertaining, plus shopping tips and inspiration for living well. And follow Globe Style on Instagram@globestyle.