Monday, March 20, 2017

Improvements Make West Baden Shine for 10th Anniversary


West Baden Atrium with New Lights
Spring brings about thoughts of remodeling but when you’re in charge of a large hotel, winter is the more appropriate time for making those formidable changes.

West Baden Springs Hotel Facility Director Ron Walker has had a full plate since January when the hotel began undergoing several restoration projects. The renovation list included new LED lighting in the atrium, more than 700 windows replaced on the second and third floors, the relocation of the fitness center, building a shooting range, and a new wedding venue.

Most guests will notice the atrium is sporting new colored lights. The LED bulbs –146,000 watts of them - were replaced with 120 spot lights, 240 color strip lights and 508 lights – all LEDs. According to Ron, “That will result in an energy savings of 96-percent. It’s just amazing.”

But saving energy isn’t the only positive result from switching out the lights – guests can now enjoy a virtual light show. The dome lights and those surrounding the atrium feature new colors and patterns, and can be adjusted to sync with music; an intriguing option for those holding conferences, celebrations and weddings under the dome.

The West Baden fitness center now has a new home. Once located in the Spa at West Baden, the fitness center moved downstairs to the pool area near the hot tub. According to Ron, “The new location is more efficient and we are adding more equipment to vary it up.” The spa gets a remodel, converting the old fitness room into more treatment rooms for guests.

Replacing Historic Windows
The replacement of more than 700 windows adds to the energy efficiency of the hotel. All of the windows on the second and third floors of the hotel were “taken out and replaced with energy-efficient, double paned Marvin windows,” Ron said. “And all are constructed to be historically accurate- they look exactly like the older windows. That’s a requirement for our historical designation.” Windows were also replaced in meeting rooms throughout the hotel, ending what has been a two-year project.

If you’re into marksmanship, there’s a new game in town. French Lick Resort has a new shooting range located near The Stables. Designed for clay target shooting, the range will open for groups-only later this spring.

Billiards and Bowling Alley Building
And the final project is one that staff and guests alike have anxiously awaited – the refurbishing of the old billiards and bowling alley building located to the west of the formal garden. Plans are underway to turn the structure into a unique venue for weddings. We will keep you updated on the progress in future posts.

By Joy Neighbors