Historic Mineral Wells Hotel Set For Comeback

Chris Sommer
June 21, 2019 - 6:18 am
Baker Hotel, Mineral Wells

Credit: J.Burkett Photo

MINERAL WELLS (1080 KRLD) - The Baker Hotel and Spa is ready for a rebirth.

Developers have kicked off a three-year, $65 million renovation and restoration of the historic property in Mineral Wells.  The project includes a four-star resort and extensive spa, along with a conference center.  The revamped resort is expected to open in the late spring or early summer of 2022.

When it opened in 1929, the 14-story Baker Hotel was the first U-S skyscraper built outside a metropolitan area.  It boasted the first Olympic-sized hotel swimming pool in Texas.  The resort was frequented by famous faces including Clark Gable, Judy Garland, the Three Stooges and President Lyndon B. Johnson.  Many visitors were lured by the enticing waters of the therapeutic mineral baths, which will be a key feature of the new resort.

After closing in 1972, the hotel sat empty for nearly a half-century.  There had been talk of renovating and reopening it on various occasions, but all efforts fell through - until now.

Developer Chad Patton said, "It really comes down to just the idea of trying to resurrect a historical monument, and resurrect a community."

The Baker Hotel and Spa was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Developers say previous efforts to bring back the Baker Hotel were prohibited by cost.  "The project itself has about a $65 million price tag to it.  But once it's operating and stabilized, it's only going to be worth about $40-$45 million.  So, when you think of it in terms of a simple math equation, not too many developers out there want to build something for $65 million and sell it for $45 million," Patton said.

Construction started in 1926 on the original Baker Hotel and Spa, which was built at a cost of $1.2 million.​