by Anayeli Ruiz
BIG SPRING - Renovations for the Settles Hotel are coming along but developers aren't relying on that alone to re-charge downtown Big Spring.
They have other projects in the works that they hope will attract more people to town. It had been more than 30 years since the hotel had their original windows up. Now with most of them in place, plans for the hotel and their surroundings are very promising.
"Our timeline shows the completion of construction mid-Spring 2011, that's a little behind our original schedule, mainly because of delays during demolition," Owner Brint Ryan, said.
Brint Ryan is a Big Spring native. He and his brother decided to renovate the Settles Hotel to bring some life back into the town.
"Most important 50 years, this hotel was the heart of Big Spring center of the town. It's where all the clubs met and wedding were held, showers and reunions. We believe summer of next year, it will again be the heart of Big Spring. It will be the place to be for important events, we are going to restore the heart of the community," Ryan said.
But they say in order to make that happen they have to offer something more than a hotel.
"We have an exciting plan we have not shared with the community. Big Spring Central Park between the Settles Hotel and the Big Spring auditorium will be available for events, festivals and more," Ryan said.
They're also in the process of restoring another Big Spring landmark.
"The historic Ritz theater, which we also own, we are implementing stages of the study for a draft house theater in the building," Ryan said.
And although the hotel is a year away from being finished, people are already fighting for reservations.
"They're having fights on who is going to get the Settles Hotel for the events," Ryan said.
The hotel also plans to have retail shops, a fitness center, and rooftop with a view of the city for events.
The approximate cost of the renovation is about 23 million dollars.