For approximately half a century, the historic Baker Resort has been a crumbling making in downtown Mineral Wells, offering only nostalgic tales of its as soon as-booming previous.
Its story commenced specifically a century ago when citizens sought to diversify their area economy past their “Crazy Water” offer, which they believed had therapeutic powers. The neighborhood elevated $150,000 to get started the design of the 14-story making that became central to occasions and celebrations and lured substantial-profile Hollywood stars like Judy Garland and Ronald Reagan to city.
Now, the huge hotel serves as an icon of resilience for the compact rural city of about 15,000 folks which is 80 miles west of Dallas.
In about a few several years, if absolutely nothing halts the redevelopment now underway, the Baker Lodge will stand tall again as the effective tourist location it the moment was.
‘This time is different’
Although grand ideas to revive the hotel have circulated for many years, this time is unique, stated Rose Jordan, the Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce’s tourism director
“One of the things that makes this attempt various — other than the simple fact that they are now 3 many years into building, so it is surely taking place — is that ownership has generally stayed in just the exact relatives,” Jordan explained. “People would make tries at it, but nobody ever in fact took about ownership and moved forward. This is the 1st time which is at any time happened.”
The Baker Staff — a name it is affectionately been given by citizens — is made up of Laird A. Fairchild, a co-founder of serious estate and design business Hunter Chase Capital Associates G. Brint Ryan, CEO of Dallas-based mostly of Ryan LLC Chad Patton of Wells Fargo Advisors Randy Nix of Nix Rental Homes Jeffrey M. Bring about of La Corsha Hospitality Group Mark Rawlings of Syndicated Contracting Services and Beth and Kurt Thiel of Thiel & Thiel.
The group commenced compact with only Patton and Fairchild, who began to reimagine the Baker Resort in 2009.
“We’ve only attained believers and gained momentum and received methods to make this a fact,” Patton said.
The team’s eyesight is to restore the historic lodge into a 4-star place resort, spa and convention center.
Closed because the 1970s, the lodge sat idle for several years by way of conversations with several buyers and its previous residence homeowners. The Baker Staff reached an agreement with the prior entrepreneurs in 2019, acquired the property for $2.2 million and began the $73 million restoration.
With a projected reopening in 2025, the progress crew would like the lodge tied to Texas lore to re-produce a feeling of stepping back in time. Qualifying for several condition and federal historic tax credits, they are employing outdated documents, archives and photos to information their perform.
“We’re hoping to carry back again as substantially historic relevance as we can,” Patton mentioned. “The majority of the residence will be modernized, combined with as considerably historic relevance as you’d want to see.”
While the hotel’s renewal is meant to carefully resemble its unique 1929 look, the restored venue will embrace modern updates — out of doors mineral baths, an elevator to the 2nd-ground spa and fitness middle, an outside marriage ceremony garden, and perhaps, a doggy park.
“(When working), the Baker Lodge embraced this theme that gave people the perception as if they have been renewing by themselves — mentally, bodily and emotionally,” Patton stated. “We’re going ahead with that same program, but will have a extra contemporary design that delivers all the exact comforts.”
A couple of of the operational selections built in the 1920s will also roll more than into the 21st Century. For instance, the coffee shop will be owned and operated as portion of the hotel team.
“The relaxation of the retail area that we have on the street level will be leased out to, ideally, area vendors that can deliver complementary expert services and choices to those coming into Mineral Wells,” Patton explained.
In 30 months of palms-on operate, the group is just now starting restoration. They recently completed time-consuming lead and asbestos abatement and demolition inside of the 220,000-sq.-foot lodge.
Reaching new audiences
Remy Fairchild was clean out of faculty when the Baker Crew purchased the resort.
The 24-12 months-previous remembers driving in the backseat of her father’s motor vehicle when she was young, envisioning what could grow to be of the lodge that may possibly have entertained legendary outlaws Bonnie and Clyde and is often showcased on ghost-hunting Television exhibits. Now, she will get the honor of monitoring the hotel’s comeback.
Remy took more than the hotel’s social media accounts when construction began. And while it took some convincing on the team, she developed a TikTok account that now has almost 86,000 followers and 1.3 million likes — equally developing by the hundreds each day.
“I’m just striving to create the excitement,” she reported. “TikTok is just a a lot more relaxed and intimate way to sort of share the full journey. And it’s a put in which we can enable our personalities come via.”
Her each day posts array from demolition and restoration films to the hotel’s hidden gems and intriguing historic points.
Amid the most well-liked: A check out from singer William Clark Inexperienced asserting his new Baker Resort album and in advance of-and-after video clips, showcasing the function that’s been carried out.
She explained she hopes she can sooner or later produce a docuseries or documentary about what is billed as a person of the state’s most bold historic renovations at any time tried.
“I believe I’d just regret not documenting pretty much every single step of the way,” Fairchild mentioned.