Landmark hotel to reopen ahead of schedule

Full story: The Indianapolis Star

The century-old West Baden Springs Hotel is set to have its grand reopening in two weeks following a multimillion renovation in conjunction with development of the nearby French Lick casino.
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1 - 20 of 21 Comments Last updated May 10, 2007
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babycakes

Indianapolis, IN

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#1
May 10, 2007
 
How do you get invited to the black tie event? I'd love to go
Good

Palo Alto, CA

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#2
May 10, 2007
 
Good. Wonderful. Glad to hear it. But I don't like gambling. Gambling in Indiana should be outlawed, and that includes the state lottery. But if your going to have legalized gambling, stop busting the little guys playing poker. You can't have it both ways.
Mike

Indianapolis, IN

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#3
May 10, 2007
 
It's a great day for the people of Orange County who haved worked so hard for decades to realize this dream. Mr. Cook deserves credit for great vision and investment. I hope the results live up to the (probably elevated) expectations and that the negative side effects (there will be some) will be kept to a minimum through excellent management and civic cooperation and vision.
Good Question

Fairport, NY

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#4
May 10, 2007
 
You probably have to be wealthy.
babycakes wrote:
How do you get invited to the black tie event? I'd love to go
JBP

United States

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#5
May 10, 2007
 
Iíve been in awe of this spectacular landmark since I first toured it over 25 years ago. Even in complete disrepair, you could close your eyes and imagine what it was like when the hotel was in its glory.

Iíve witnessed several failed renovation attempts, followed by the restoration of the dome and stabilization of the hotel. I canít wait to see it as a fully functioning resort. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Cook for saving this wonderful place!
JBP

United States

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#6
May 10, 2007
 
babycakes wrote:
How do you get invited to the black tie event? I'd love to go
Check out www.historiclandmarks.org/news/news.html

The article says the cost is $250 per person, very reasonable considering it is a black-tie charity event.

There is contact information in the article if you want to attend.
irsays buddy

Chrisman, IL

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#7
May 10, 2007
 
Mike wrote:
It's a great day for the people of Orange County who haved worked so hard for decades to realize this dream. Mr. Cook deserves credit for great vision and investment. I hope the results live up to the (probably elevated) expectations and that the negative side effects (there will be some) will be kept to a minimum through excellent management and civic cooperation and vision.
We'll check back with you in ten years to see how you feel then. This can only go one of two ways; fail miserably and cost us a lot of money or succeed and cause over-developement. Either way, Orange County is going to have the blues.
arkie

Chrisman, IL

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#8
May 10, 2007
 
Well at least the new hotel will have something in common with the old one. It was built to lure in suckers who were willing to pay good money to sit in water and the new one will be counting on a new breed of suckers. Lady luck is a hooker.
JBP

United States

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#9
May 10, 2007
 
irsays buddy wrote:
<quoted text>
We'll check back with you in ten years to see how you feel then. This can only go one of two ways; fail miserably and cost us a lot of money or succeed and cause over-developement. Either way, Orange County is going to have the blues.
You sir, are a pessimistic jackass. Nothing is going to cost you anything whether the hotel succeeds or fails.

The draw to this hotel has little to do with gambling. In fact in order to gamble, youíll have to travel off the grounds to the casino located closer to the French Lick Resort. The attraction is the facility itself and the beautiful surroundings.

I get so tired of listening to negative and uninformed idiots with moronic opinions yammering about subjects in which they have no knowledge.
JBP

United States

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#10
May 10, 2007
 
Irsays Budy, the "****" was censored, jack@ss.
joe blow

Zionsville, IN

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#11
May 10, 2007
 
Its great that the hotel is being renovated. But don't let Bill Cook fool you. Every dollar he "donates" gets paid back to him, so his charity doesn't come without a price tag.

And I'll be interested in hearing reviews of the hotel experience after the opening. My guess...a stay at virtually any downtown Indy hotel would have been more luxurious, and without the price tag and long drive.
Brad

United States

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#12
May 10, 2007
 
I attended Northwood Institute when it was located within the hotel back in the 70's and early 80's. If you have never seen this place in person, get in your car as soon as possible and get down there. You will not believe your eyes. A huge round of thanks to the Cooks for saving this historic gem.
Those grapes are sour

Louisville, KY

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#13
May 10, 2007
 
Please, people. This is a treasure of the State. No gambling takes place in West Baden; any development at all in Orange County is good. It's a beautiful area and it's a marvelous restoration. Years ago my wife's mother told us of times she and her family would drive from Terre Haute to visit the hotel. She remembered sitting under the dome on wrought iron chairs eating ice cream. We toured it years ago, and JBP is right, even in disrepair it was interesting. Do all Hoosiers a favor, quit whining and visit this historic landmark.
Jim

League City, TX

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#14
May 10, 2007
 
I saw it two weeks ago for a special tour.
What a sight.
Gambling is not it's big draw. In fact, the casino in the area (actually down the road aways) is quite small and mundane compared to others in Indiana. West Baden Springs will be a resort with great grounds, pools, cuisine and with championship golfing and other attractions. It will also be high priced to stay ...from $180 and way up per night.
As I understand, little public money is involved.
Thank you Cooks Group.
Will the rich and famous come back here again?
Yahoo

Indianapolis, IN

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#16
May 10, 2007
 
West Baden/French Lick is a resort that happens to have a casino.

The other casinos in the state are pure casino plays that have a sprinkling of resort type activities.

FL/WB is a unique experience and doesn't compare well with the other casinos. Very nice but, you need to bring your wallet.
jrides

Pierceton, IN

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#17
May 10, 2007
 
It sounds expensive and it is. But it is not nearly as expensive as other resorts I have seen advertized. It is expensive for Indiana-but not when you compare it to New York, LA, Miami Beach, etc., etc...

I think the Cooks have done a great job-and think of the income that has already been pumped into the region during construction.

I wish for and hope for the best and can testify that the hotels-both of them--are a great experience to see.

Someone complained that they are for the rich. Well, if the rich come and leave their money in French Lick, that is just fine with me.

I'll just go down and watch.
JBP

United States

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#18
May 10, 2007
 
joe blow wrote:
Its great that the hotel is being renovated. But don't let Bill Cook fool you. Every dollar he "donates" gets paid back to him, so his charity doesn't come without a price tag.
And I'll be interested in hearing reviews of the hotel experience after the opening. My guess...a stay at virtually any downtown Indy hotel would have been more luxurious, and without the price tag and long drive.
Yep, Cook will get some tax relief and heís not trying to ďfoolĒ anyone. By the way, if you donated money to charity, you would get a tax deduction, too. Letís say you did; whom would you be fooling? The law exists to encourage people to donate.

My guess his return on investment isn't monetary. He took a huge gamble restoring the hotel and grounds because he fell in love with it, just as most people do when they see it. He has a love of history and architecture and the wherewithal to save this fantastic treasure that was literally crumbling. If I had his wallet, I would do the same thing.

You have obviously never been to West Baden or you wouldn't compare it to an Indianapolis downtown hotel. It is a resort located on magnificent grounds, not a downtown business hotel. Iíve traveled the world and there really isnít any place that compares to it. Hopefully, people will find it and it will be successful.

Again sir, you are another in a long series of pessimistic jack@sses who know absolutely nothing about the subject but insist on posting your uninformed negative opinions. Find a topic you know something about or shut the f up.
Richard M Williams

San Francisco, CA

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#19
May 10, 2007
 
Miracles do happen for those who believe. Thanks to the Cook's and to the workers who restored this magnificent building.
Barbbb

Sebring, FL

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#20
May 10, 2007
 
So glad the old hotel has been refurbished...attended many Business & Professional Women's Club State Conventions there...!
It is truly a landmark!
bballjunkie

Shepherdsville, KY

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#21
May 10, 2007
 
This place simply blows me away!
Yes, it will be expensive to stay just one night but I believe if you just go there for the sake of its' historical value, the trip has been worth taking once.
I don't gamble or golf,(another attractive feature with it's new PGA course) but I'll splurge a time or two in "The Valley".

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