By CLINT FOSTER
It almost sounds too good to be true.
As the Index reported last October, Mineral Wells’ famous Baker Hotel is finally on pace for an unprecedented renovation.
Thanks to the concerted effort of a virtual dream team of hotel development partners – led by Southlake businessman Laird Fairchild of Hunter Chase Capital Partners –the derelict property that has epitomized Mineral Wells’ gradual fall from grace over the past five decades could very soon harken a glorious rebirth into new era of prosperity, unmatched even by the city’s heyday when Crazy Water flowed in the South’s greatest health resort.
Chad Patton – a vice president and financial advisor at Merrill Lynch and prominent member of the Baker Hotel development team – was on hand at the Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce’s State of the Community luncheon, Friday afternoon, to not only confirm that the project was, indeed, a reality, but also to provide an update on it’s progress and give the public an exclusive first look at the hotel’s future as a “Four-star destination resort, spa and conference center.”
“Those rumors that you’ve heard and the articles that have come out in the Index are all true,” Patton told a packed gym at Mineral Wells First Baptist Church. “We’ve actually been working on this project for a very long time.”
Six years ago, Patton, Fairchild and their partners embarked on this quest to breath new life into the once proud Baker – a building they passed frequently on the way to and from hunting trips at the Rhodes Ranch, which Fairchild has leased for 12 years.
Even then, they could see the enormous potential that lied dormant in the imposing structure that comprises the entire Mineral Wells skyline.
“It just calls you. You drive by and it beckons you,” Fairchild said in a past interview. “You can tell that a renovation would have a huge impact on [Mineral Wells].