27 June 2013

Hope For The Warm Springs Pools?

I've blogged about the Warm Springs (aka: "Jefferson Pools") before. See here.

Today, I read this news from the Friends of the Warm Springs Pools:

In the May 29 Update Report, you may recall that I focused on "restoration." I said that KSL Capital, owners of The Homestead, had asked us whether we would raise money for them to use in repairing the Bath Houses. We had replied that this would not be possible---that individuals and foundations would not be willing to donate to KSL, a firm with very deep pockets, to do the work on the Bath Houses that KSL, exercising responsible corporate stewardship, should have already done with its own funds. This lead to a conversation about the future ownership of the Pools property, which I promised to discuss in the next Update Report.

Well, things happen in a month. KSL has sold The Homestead and four other resort properties to Omni Hotels and Resorts, a privately owned company headquartered in Irving, Texas. Unlike the "venture capital" approach of KSL, Omni has demonstrated an interest in long-term ownership of hotel and resort properties. Many people see better days ahead for The Homestead.

On behalf of Preservation Bath, Lee Elliott and I sent a letter to Michael Deitemeyer, President of Omni Hotels and Resorts, in which we highlighted the endangered Bath Houses at the Warm Springs Pools and also offered to work with him to find the best way to save and properly restore the buildings. We look forward to those conversations and will do our best to keep you informed about our progress.
I certainly hope this means more resources will be made available for these historic structures. If you ever get the chance, the Jefferson Pools are well worth a visit, as is the rest of Bath County, Virginia.

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