An architectural icon, Hotel Settles opened its doors in 1930. At the time, it was the tallest building in West Texas with 15 stories and 150 rooms. As the energy crisis of the 1970s came to an end, West Texas suffered from a very large oil bust. The effect on the local economy was staggering, causing businesses to shut down, along with Hotel Settles, which was unable to sustain operations and maintain repairs to the 50-plus-year-old building. The hotel closed its doors in 1982.
Over the next 30 years, the property fell into further decline. Much of the original interior stone, wood, and metal were removed by various owners, and the building was inhabited by pigeons.
The hotel garnered admiration and attention from the local community, and in the 1990s, a program was funded to purchase and replace most of the broken windows in the building. With each window costing more than $130, it was an astounding show of support.
In 2006, G. Brint Ryan, a Big Spring native, purchased the hotel. Ryan was determined to revitalize the aging landmark and invested $30 million in its renovation. Big Spring Economic Development also provided an incentive of $3 million. The building was restored and designed keeping the area’s rich history in mind, with meticulous detail given to its historic context.
The restoration of Hotel Settles not only brought the hotel back to life, but it also reinvigorated interest in Downtown Big Spring. The renovation was a catalyst, spurring revitalization efforts throughout the downtown area, bringing new businesses, new ideas, and astounding economic growth.
Today, the hotel is beautifully restored to its original elegance, with 65 guestrooms and 15,000 sq. ft. of function space, including the opulently restored Grand Ballroom and Lobby.