LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.(KTHV)- Lots of people visit Burns Park in North Little Rock throughout the year for sports tournaments and they could soon have a place to stay right on site.

The city of North Little Rock has approved a land conversion allowing the city to move forward with a private development at Burns Park.

The idea for a rustic lodge at Burns Park was first introduced in 2006.

NLR Parks and Recreation Director Bob Rhoads said the city is moving forward with that plan by approving the Big Rock Quarry as an exchange for the land that will be taken up by the lodge.

"We want it to be a lodge to blend in to an outdoor theme, sort of like Mount Magazine. A lot of activities go on at Burns Park and people have to get scattered all the way to Little Rock to other hotels and motels."

The lodge has the approval from the city, but because the park was built with federal funds, Rhoads says the state and National Park Service must also approve.

"It would be a situation where you would either sell the land or you would have a land lease and a developer would develop a lodge."

The Lodge at Burns Park would be located off Charles Boyer Drive and exit 150 on Interstate 40.

Rhoads says the lodgewould have 200 rooms.

"We're wanting to do something like a state park would do, that has a large land area similar to something like Mount Magazine where you can go and stay and then enjoy the park."

Currently, the Burns Park area lacks lodging and places to eat.

Rhoads says that forces participants in events, like soccer tournaments to eat and sleep elsewhere.

The lodge would not be operated or funded by the city of North Little Rock.

The land conversion approval from the state and National Park Service could take 3 months to a year.

Read or Share this story: http://on.kthv.com/1gm5Phr