A wonder renewed

Seventy-five years after the West Baden Springs Hotel closed its doors on its last guest, the National Historic Landmark is once again open for business. Full Story

Since: May 07

paoli, indiana

#22 May 24, 2007
Jesse wrote:
<quoted text>
Agreed!, I don't care how much money I have,$300 to spend one night in a hotel is just way too much!
Not to mention, every employee you encounter is going to have their hand out wanting a tip!
What a joke!
as an employee of the resort i thought i would inform you that the employees at the resort are not beggers and although many do live off of tips, they do not go around begging and expecting them. most of the employees are glad to help, at least they are glad when they have a guest with a better attitude that doesnt look down on them for trying to make a living and support their families. and no.. i am not getting defensive, because i am in a position where i am not allowed to accept tips. talk down on the price and the resort all you want, but dont look down your nose at people for trying the best they can to support their families.
klw

United States

#23 May 24, 2007
I hope the new West Baden Resort has more to offer than French Lick Inn Resort. My wife and I stayed there last week and found the overall experience just short of awful. The rooms are tiny and have no closet space. Only one elavator that is ver slow. The food is extremely overpriced and lousy. My steak was as tough as an old shoe and the service was just as rotten. The morning breakfast buffet was a joke!!
I doubt very much if French Lick Springs resort has many repeat customers. The place is one big joke.

The management should immediately make a total change in personnel and bring in people who know how to cater to those customers who are willing to pay their high prices. I am more than willing to pay for service and dining that is far above normal. However, French Lick Springs Resort would rate at the very bottom.

Since: May 07

paoli, indiana

#24 May 24, 2007
klw wrote:
I hope the new West Baden Resort has more to offer than French Lick Inn Resort. My wife and I stayed there last week and found the overall experience just short of awful. The rooms are tiny and have no closet space. Only one elavator that is ver slow. The food is extremely overpriced and lousy. My steak was as tough as an old shoe and the service was just as rotten. The morning breakfast buffet was a joke!!
I doubt very much if French Lick Springs resort has many repeat customers. The place is one big joke.
The management should immediately make a total change in personnel and bring in people who know how to cater to those customers who are willing to pay their high prices. I am more than willing to pay for service and dining that is far above normal. However, French Lick Springs Resort would rate at the very bottom.
i have to agree with you on part of this, some of the personnel, but part of the change needs to be in the management. as an employee of the resort, i have 6 bosses directly over me at this time, each boss having a different set of rules and things that we can and cant do. many of those rules result in the service or neglect in the guest service. i do agree that some of the employees fall short in the service department on their own, but alot of it also comes from the management on things we are allowed and not allowed to do, depending upon who is over us at that present time. i do apologies for the lack in service that you recieved, and i hope that you will give us another chance as many of us do try to serve guest to the best of our ability.
Griffco76

Evansville, IN

#25 May 24, 2007
I don't see how they can make a success of this behemoth of a hotel. How many of you have ever traveled the backroads just to get there? True, French Lick gave us Larry Bird, the Indiana legend...but I can't see this gambling thing working in that area.
jane doe

Bloomington, IN

#26 May 24, 2007
klw wrote:
I hope the new West Baden Resort has more to offer than French Lick Inn Resort. My wife and I stayed there last week and found the overall experience just short of awful. The rooms are tiny and have no closet space. Only one elavator that is ver slow. The food is extremely overpriced and lousy. My steak was as tough as an old shoe and the service was just as rotten. The morning breakfast buffet was a joke!!
I doubt very much if French Lick Springs resort has many repeat customers. The place is one big joke.
The management should immediately make a total change in personnel and bring in people who know how to cater to those customers who are willing to pay their high prices. I am more than willing to pay for service and dining that is far above normal. However, French Lick Springs Resort would rate at the very bottom.
I must agree with you on comments about the customer service. They didn't exactly hire a 5 star management company to run the 5 star resorts (owners hired the same co. to run both). The employees are grossly underpaid. I have a good friend who is a manager in charge of the call center, she makes 9.00/hr which is poverty! They are taking advantage of the local people! Their buffet should mirror that of Caesars or Belterra to say the least. Most people I know who have been there once say they won't go back because of the service and that's a shame! Benchmark Hospitality is the mgmt. company running the place and they are tight as bark on a tree!!!
Deadeye

Elkhart, IN

#27 May 24, 2007
Huh ! French Lick !!! Back when I was a young 'un we had a "French Kiss" and later if'n you wuz very lucky, maybe afterwards got to use a "French Letter."
I know sum of the other fellars had sum Major Moves to get to the Letter stage, beyond the French Kiss, but I didn't know it was called "French Lick."
JBP

United States

#28 May 24, 2007
Griffco76 wrote:
I don't see how they can make a success of this behemoth of a hotel. How many of you have ever traveled the backroads just to get there? True, French Lick gave us Larry Bird, the Indiana legend...but I can't see this gambling thing working in that area.
I've made the trip over a dozen times in the last 15 years or so when the hotel was in shambles. It's a destination in itself. Gambling will not be the draw that attracts people to this hotel. They may gamble while they are there, but I don't see it as the main reason to go.

The buildings and gardens are simply amazing. You really have to see it to understand.
C Lynn

Bethesda, MD

#29 May 24, 2007
terry wrote:
<quoted text>your the one from KY
And apparently you are the one who doesn't know grammar well enough to know that you meant the contraction, "you're," not the possessive "your."
Curious

Bloomington, IN

#30 May 24, 2007
jane doe wrote:
<quoted text>
I must agree with you on comments about the customer service. They didn't exactly hire a 5 star management company to run the 5 star resorts (owners hired the same co. to run both). The employees are grossly underpaid. I have a good friend who is a manager in charge of the call center, she makes 9.00/hr which is poverty! They are taking advantage of the local people! Their buffet should mirror that of Caesars or Belterra to say the least. Most people I know who have been there once say they won't go back because of the service and that's a shame! Benchmark Hospitality is the mgmt. company running the place and they are tight as bark on a tree!!!
When Orange County voted to bring in a Casino, everyone was told the average wage would be between $12.00 and $25.00 per hour. I did not believe the promises, I think a lot of people did. You cannot get good help for $7.00-$9.00 per hr for weekend and night work.
Curious

Bloomington, IN

#31 May 24, 2007
Christian Father wrote:
<quoted text>
as an employee of the resort i thought i would inform you that the employees at the resort are not beggers and although many do live off of tips, they do not go around begging and expecting them. most of the employees are glad to help, at least they are glad when they have a guest with a better attitude that doesnt look down on them for trying to make a living and support their families. and no.. i am not getting defensive, because i am in a position where i am not allowed to accept tips. talk down on the price and the resort all you want, but dont look down your nose at people for trying the best they can to support their families.
I think the Resort needs more workers like yourself. I hope your job works out for you.
Can u say union station

Chicago, IL

#32 May 24, 2007
Hmm - All these wow comments are great - Reminds me Union Station in the 80's. Huge deal and Historic Come back - It flopped - Good luck - I hope it works.
JBP

United States

#33 May 24, 2007
Can u say union station wrote:
Hmm - All these wow comments are great - Reminds me Union Station in the 80's. Huge deal and Historic Come back - It flopped - Good luck - I hope it works.
It eventually flopped, but not before it renewed interest in downtown Indianapolis. Union Station was the little flame that started everything in downtown Indianapolis. Too bad it couldn't keep up with the competition it created.
Conrad H

Plainfield, IN

#34 May 24, 2007
jane doe wrote:
<quoted text>
I must agree with you on comments about the customer service. They didn't exactly hire a 5 star management company to run the 5 star resorts (owners hired the same co. to run both). The employees are grossly underpaid. I have a good friend who is a manager in charge of the call center, she makes 9.00/hr which is poverty! They are taking advantage of the local people! Their buffet should mirror that of Caesars or Belterra to say the least. Most people I know who have been there once say they won't go back because of the service and that's a shame! Benchmark Hospitality is the mgmt. company running the place and they are tight as bark on a tree!!!
Of course they wanted to get the privilege of managing that resort--it has a captive community down in the OC that's just begging for 2-300 $10 hr. jobs. Profits will be huge. Up in Indy their labor costs would be AT LEAST 60-75% more for the same number of employees. Oh, please visit the casino when you get you $300 wk. paycheck.
Cosybully

AOL

#35 May 24, 2007
The owners of these hotels need to do a better job of getting the word out. I signed up for updates through email months ago, but I never received any messages concerning the opening of the West Baden Hotel. I called to ask when it was opening about a month ago and made a reservation when told it would open on June 1st. Then I was told it was opening May 24th, and I had to cancel my reservation. Now I hear that it opened on the 23rd! I wish the great people who invested in these buildings the very best, but I think a lot of people who would be interested have no idea that these hotels are even open.
Tony

Sellersburg, IN

#36 May 26, 2007
I had the pleasure to tour the 1/2 completed West Baden Complex a couple of years ago. For those of you who haven't been, that first glimpse of the dome is breath taking! My hats off to Mr. & Mrs. Cook for not only saving a piece of Indiana History - but for saving a NATIONAL Treasure!
Rusty Thompson

Pasadena, CA

#37 May 28, 2007
I grew up in French Lick, many, many yars ago. The last time I was in the West Baden Hotel was whn the Jesuits were operating it as one of their colleges, having bought it for the magnificient sum of $1.00! I congratulate and thank the Cook family for restoring this gem and hope to see it again this coming fall.

Since: Apr 07

French Lick Indiana

#38 May 29, 2007
I have to agree with everyone else who works at the Resort/Casino who's spoken up. You don't get 5 star resort employees when you pay them 10.00 an hour, then cut their hours from 40 down to 32 hours a week.
We were all given a lot of promises, and we spend a good majority of our day apologizing to guests who find their experience less than what they wanted. And thanking the guests who tell us what a great time they've had and how beautiful the place is. However, I personally am more than a little tired of guests taking their aggression out on me. I don't make the prices, I don't set the rates, but yet I'm the one who gets to deal with rude nasty people on a daily basis because the slot machines aren't ATM machines.
West Baden is beautiful, no way around it. And for all you nay sayers who keep saying it won't work, try to remember when these hotels were originally built. The French Lick hotel has been WORKING for longer than most of us have been alive.

Make a trip to West Baden if you get the chance, it's a once in and lifetime opportunity.
Dark angel

Collinsville, MS

#39 May 30, 2007
My grandparents visited one of those places down there. They said They have a statue of the devil in the basement. What is this all about. I have no reason to doubt my grandparents. Has anyone else heard of this? Was there a cult or something involved with this area?
French Licker

Fisher, AR

#40 May 30, 2007
No, there was no cult in the area. The "devil" statue is of Pluto,(God of the underworld) who has a spring named after him, and the factory across the street from the hotel bottled Pluto water (Sulfar water) for decades. People used to believe it was good for what ailed them.
They have a whole display of Pluto water, complete with a Pluto statue.
Cyndi Sloop

Decatur, IL

#41 Jun 1, 2007
This is an awesome piece of history. Worth a trip to West Baden to view the building and the grounds.

While in the area, visit the French Lick Casino and Hotel. Another wonderful piece of history and architecture!

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