The Baker Hotel in the city of Mineral Wells, Texas has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982. The hotel dates back to 1890 when the local citizens were concerned that non-citizens were profiting from the towns mineral water, so $150,000 was raised to build a hotel.
The Texas hotel design was based on the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas, renowned for its baths. After opening in 1929, Baker Hotel became a popular spa destination. Famous visitors during its peak included Clark Gable, Judy Garland, and future U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. There are even rumors that legendary outlaws Bonnie and Clyde may have visited.
Unfortunately, during the 1950s, the hotel began to decline following the war and closed its doors in 1972. But all of that is going to change thanks to the new renovation project.
Lead developers Laird Fairchild and Chad Patton have secured $65 million in investments for a three-year plan to renovate and reopen the historic Baker Hotel. The Cloud Room, which is a top floor ballroom with views of the Texas landscape will be fully restored. The number of guest rooms will be decreasing from 450 to 157 in order to devote more space to meeting and event space as well as a massive luxury spa. Nothing like a fancy spa to draw tourists in for a relaxing weekend getaway.
Things have changed in Mineral Wells since the hotel first opened. At the time, the small town was counting on the hotel to boost its economy. But Phil Garrett, the unofficial local historian, tells Texas Monthly that isn't necessarily the case anymore.
"We're in the middle of a renaissance right now without the Baker," he said, describing new shop and restaurant openings in Palo Pinto County. "We've seen a burst of energy in the town that we haven't seen in decades."
Hopefully, the new renovations will transform the Baker Hotel and Spa into a destination that people all over North Texas want to come and visit. Who wouldn't want to unwind in a giant swimming pool in this relaxing small town to get away from the craziness of everyday life?
Stay tuned for the grand opening in 2022 to see up close this piece of Texas history fully restored to its former glory.