News for the Hospitality Executive
|The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, May 24, 2007 - Benchmark
Hospitality International has officially opened West Baden Springs Hotel,
the landmark property located in West Baden Springs, Indiana, that was
once known as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World.' The historic hotel
(circa 1902) reopened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May
23, that included Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman. The property
was last used as a hotel in 1932. The opening celebration of West Baden
Springs Hotel marked the completed restoration of two historic hotels at
the French Lick Resort Casino destination. The French Lick Springs Hotel
(circa 1901), located one mile away in French Lick, Indiana, reopened last
"The restored West Baden Springs Hotel represents the best of what Indiana has to offer - unique architecture, history and beautiful scenery," said Indiana Lt. Governor Skillman. "The hotel will provide thousands of jobs and spur economic growth in the surrounding communities."
Following the 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 Benchmark's 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 grand reopening."
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 guestrooms - including eight specialty suites, three historic suites decorated with period furniture, and a lavish Presidential Suite - surround the atrium.
"This is a monumental day in the history of French Lick Resort Casino," said Chris Leininger, chief operating officer. "With the reopening of the historic West Baden Springs Hotel, 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, which was recreated based on the original plans, with a 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 Springs 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 much more. For golf enthusiasts, the resort features the comprehensively 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.
About West Baden Springs Hotel / French Lick Resort Casino
The ownership group of French Lick Resort Casino comprises Lauth Resorts & Casino, LLC, an affiliate of Lauth Group, Inc., and Orange County Holdings, Inc., an organization formed by the Cook Group family of companies to fund charitable and philanthropic purposes within the state. French Lick Resort Casino is operated by Benchmark Hospitality International.
About Lauth Group, Inc.
About Cook Group, Inc.
About Benchmark Hospitality International
* The "Orange Shirts" are a group of area residents who engaged in a successful 10-year grassroots lobbying effort in Indianapolis to support the return of gaming to the French Lick and West Baden area.
Dyan Welsh, Public Relations Manager
|Also See:||Benchmark Opens French Lick Resort Casino; $382 Million Restoration, Casino Development Project / November 2006|
|Benchmark Completes Restoration of Historic Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort Casino; First of Three Championship Courses at Resort Destination to Open / September 2006|
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