Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

January 14, 2010

Baker plans unveiled

<font size="3">Representatives of the entities that hope to renovate and reopen the downtown property roll out their </font>

The group planning to bring the Baker Hotel back to life say they will keep it largely as it was when it opened 80 years ago – a destination hotel and spa.

Representatives from the Baker Hotel development group presented the hotel renovation project plans to a packed room of community members Wednesday afternoon at a Rotary Club meeting and asked for continued community support.

The group is looking to turn the long-empty Baker Hotel into a four-star destination spa and convention center, Chad Patton, vice president of Investment and Marketing Relations with Hunter Chase, told the crowd.

“We want to bring back the glory of the hotel with the modern day amenities of the 21st century,” Patton said.

“It really started from driving down [U.S. Highway] 180 and seeing [the hotel],” Patton said.

Laird Fairchild of Hunter Chase has ties to the nearby Rhodes Ranch and Patton said he sometimes hunts in the area.

Hunter Chase first approached the renovation of the historic hotel as a mixed-use condo or apartment-type project, according to Patton, but when the PKF study came back in March, they realized it should be a hotel and spa, “essentially what is was at one time.”

They were told a hotel could sustain a 70 percent hotel occupancy rate after it stabilized over five years and charge about an average of $170 a room each night.

After doing studies, they believe the hotel will employ between 80 and 120 people, as well as anybody brought in to help during the construction phase.

The first member of the development team to be brought on board was Thiel and Thiel of Southlake, the architect and design company.

“Shortly after, we interviewed a ton of operators,” Patton said. They decided on Jeff Trigger, founder of La Corsha Hospitality Group and current operator of the Stoneleigh Hotel and Spa in Dallas. He has operated or managed the Aldophus and the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, the Driskill Hotel in Austin and the St. Anthony in San Antonio, according to Patton.

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