The Dallas Morning News

Dallas developer buys historic Hotel Galvez

Deal for Galveston beach property expected to close in May

- By PAUL O’DONNELL Staff Writer Twitter: @paul_o_donnell

Dallas-based hotelier Mark Wyant is buying the historic Hotel Galvez and Spa in Galveston from the heirs of legendary oilman, fracking pioneer and developer George P. Mitchell in a deal expected to close in mid-may.

The 224-room beachfront hotel earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Opened in 1911, it has a rich history that includes playing host to Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson, and to Hollywood celebritie­s such as Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Stewart.

Mitchell bought the hotel in 1995 and restored it to its original 1911 look. It has been managed by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts while Mitchell and his heirs owned it.

Wyant, owner of Seawall Hospitalit­y LLC, said he intends to bring a “renewed energy” to the Hotel Galvez with planned renovation­s to its rooms and interiors and the addition of entertainm­ent venues. He plans to disclose additional details in the coming weeks.

“With its unparallel­ed location, I want to ensure that the iconic Hotel Galvez and Spa will remain a landmark, complement­ing the history and beauty of Galveston,” he said in a statement. “This property is a beloved destinatio­n for weddings, corporate meetings, business and leisure travelers.”

The Galvez will be Wyant’s third project on the popular Gulf Coast island. In 1999, he built the Holiday Inn Express at First and Seawall and sold it in 2005. In 2004, he developed the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, where the noted Capt. Jack’s once stood, and sold it in 2014.

“I have a deep admiration for Galveston and its reputation for outstandin­g hospitalit­y,” he said.

Wyant, a self-described history lover, said his strategy is to select developmen­t properties in key U.S. cities known for their history and leisure, business and entertainm­ent experience­s.

After selling the Sunspree Resort, Wyant went on to create The Saint Hotel brand with award-winning properties in New Orleans, Key West and Charleston.

He recently sold The Saint New Orleans and is finalizing constructi­on of The Saint Hotel Charleston. The New Orleans hotel was bought by Dreamscape Cos., a New York investment firm with more than $1 billion at its disposal to buy hotels.

Dreamscape is partnering with Plano-based hotel manager Aimbridge Hospitalit­y to explore opportunit­ies and operate the hotels.

 ?? Thomas B. Shea ?? Galveston’s Hotel Galvez opened in 1911 and has welcomed U.S. presidents and Hollywood stars.
Thomas B. Shea Galveston’s Hotel Galvez opened in 1911 and has welcomed U.S. presidents and Hollywood stars.

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