Meet the Neighbors: Martin and Elise Roenigk of Eureka Springs
Martin and Elise Roenigk from East Hampton, Conn., took a tip from a family member and decided to stop by Eureka Springs while visiting Fayetteville. The biggest attraction for this excursion was the Miles Music Museum, which features antique mechanical musical instruments, but when they got there, the Roenigks decided that Eureka Springs was the perfect place to retire.
âWe got here and we loved the history, architecture, galleries, shopping, people and the area,â Martin says.
Former chairman and CEO of CompuDyne, Martin wasnât ready to slow down after his retirement. Charmed by the historic buildings in the area, the couple purchased the Basin Park Hotel in 1997 with the idea of living in an apartment on the sixth and seventh floors. Theyâve since purchased the Crescent Hotel, as well.
âI loved the history, character and appearance of the Crescent, and we wanted to save it from the path to ruin that it was on, having deteriorated from years with very little investment,â Marty explains. âWe wanted to see it become the focal point of the community again.â
Indeed, the Roenigks have invested in many ways in Eureka Springs and now own the War Eagle Mill, Gavioli Chapel, Brainstem Games and Mechantiques, a 5,800-square-foot building filled with antique clocks and mechanical musical instruments.
In addition to their business ventures, the Roenigks are involved in the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow, Main Stage, and a number of arts and preservation groups. They are also key players in the proposed building of the first hotel-condominiums in Eureka Springs and are currently working with architect E. Fay Jones on a plan for 20 structures on the 11 acres they own next to the Crescent Hotel.
âEureka Springs is a great place to retire for a long list of reasons,â Marty says. âThere are very interesting people in the community, great eclectic shops and restaurants. Youâre in the middle of the Ozarks with lots of recreational opportunities but close enough to the growth, arts and cultural attractions of northwest Arkansas. We picked Eureka Springs, and we love it.â