FRENCH LICK, Indiana -- The West Baden Springs Hotel, the Indiana landmark once known as the "Eighth Wonder of the World," reopened this morning after being closed to travelers since
West Baden Springs Resort to open ahead of schedule. 1932. Today's celebration of the opening of the West Baden Springs Hotel marks the complete renovation of the two historic hotels at the French Lick Resort Casino destination. The French Lick Springs Hotel reopened last October.
"The restored West Baden Springs Hotel represents the best of what Indiana has to offer -- unique architecture, history and beautiful scenery," said Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman. "The hotel will provide thousands of jobs and spur economic growth in the surrounding communities."
Following this morning's ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by invited guests and state dignitaries, the first official guest was checked in -- Betty Oakley -- daughter of Doc Jones, the former West Baden Springs Hotel gardener and current Historic Landmarks of Indiana volunteer. "The mineral spring waters and the beautifully manicured gardens are what drew people naturally to the area," said Vice President of Hospitality Jerry Gleason. "Doc Jones and his team were instrumental in putting West Baden on the map as a health resort. We are honored that his family is here today to be a part of the re-grand opening"
The West Baden Springs Hotel is the crown jewel of the $382 million resort restoration project which began in earnest in August 2005. It features what was once the world's largest free span dome, soaring 110 feet above the atrium floor. Six circular stories containing 246 rooms -- including eight specialty suites, three historic suites decorated with period furniture and a lavish Presidential Suite -- surround the atrium.
"Today is monumental in the history of French Lick Resort Casino," said Chris Leininger, Chief Operating Officer. "With the reopening of the historic West Baden Springs Hotel today, our resort offerings truly represent the most unique resort destination in the Midwest."
Located less than a mile from the French Lick Springs Hotel and French Lick Casino, the West Baden Springs Hotel offers a two-level natatorium with dedicated spa, fine dining restaurant and five retail outlets. The unique natatorium/spa features a 12,000-square-foot indoor pool and 8,000-square-foot spa, including treatment rooms, relaxation rooms and a state-of-the-art fitness center. West Baden hotel guests will be able to take advantage of all of French Lick Resort Casino's amenities, including the 42,000-square-foot casino, horseback riding, tennis, bowling and more. For golf enthusiasts, the resort features the completely restored Donald Ross Course at French Lick, which hosted the 1924 PGA Championship where Walter Hagen was victorious, as well as the forthcoming 18-hole championship Pete Dye Course slated to open in 2008. The nine-hole Tom Bendelow Course at French Lick will open later this summer to supplement the property's practice facilities.
|The 84,000 square-foot nautically-themed casino will feature 42,000 square feet of Vegas-style gaming, all on one floor, with soaring 26-foot ceilings. Guests will enjoy premier gaming, entertainment and dining options including 1,200 Slot Machines, 32 Table Games (Blackjack, Roulette & Craps) and a 14-table Poker Room. There will also be a High-Limit Gaming Area.|
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