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Hotel Settles shows off for fall - Odessa American: Business

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Hotel Settles shows off for fall

Oktoberfest event is on Saturday in Big Spring

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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2019 5:45 am

Beer, German food, chicken dance contest, bounce house, kid activities shop local goods. Live music by keith owns band

Big Spring officials are hoping other West Texans will join them Saturday for their first ever Oktoberfest to enjoy beer, German cuisine and to shop for local goods.

The event is scheduled 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the historic Hotel Settles, which just happens to be offering special room deals during the Oktoberfest.

It’s the first year for what is hoped to become an annual Oktoberfest by the Hotel Settles and the Big Spring Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The event will take place on the back lawn of the hotel and is free and features beer and German food for purchase, beer steins, pretzel passes, chicken dance contests and other activities for kids. There will also be live music by Keith Owens Band, local goods from Brig Spring artisans, plus, Wiener Dog races.

Also free and safe rides by Big Spring Ford are being offered for party-goers.


More on the band

Keith Owens, his website at https://www.reverbnation.com/keithowensband, details, started playing guitar at 16, with influence from his parents and uncle. He had a passion for blues music, fueled by yearly trips with his dad to the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, TN. After playing football at Northeastern State University, he returned to North Texas and began building his fan base in the area. After several trial and errors, he found a group of musicians to help him promote his debut CD, Broken Bottles. Trace Bivens, Kirk Richardson, and Dwayne Berry are also in the group.


The Hotel Settles

The website hotelsettles.com details a rich history for the towering Hotel Settles. Opened on Oct 1, 1930, Hotel Settles was built by Will R. and Lillian Settles, following the discovery of oil on their ranch. Designed by architect David Castle, the building was constructed as a solid concrete, 15-story, 150-room hotel with a restaurant and a pharmacy.

At the time, it was the tallest building between El Paso and Fort Worth. The Settles family owned the hotel for two years, but sold it when the Great Depression gripped the nation and their oil revenues diminished. The hotel went through several owners in the ensuing years.

At one time the hotel was owned by John Birdwell, an early Big Spring settler, community leader and Texas Ranger. Mr. Birdwell was also the man who nicknamed historical resident Joseph Heneage Finch, the 7th Earl of Aylesford in Great Britain.

The Settles Grill was frequented by numerous famous guests such as Elvis Presley, Lawrence Welk, and President Herbert Hoover, as well as Jerry Allison, Big Spring native and drummer for Buddy Holly and The Crickets.

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 as business after business shut down. The historic Hotel Settles was unable to sustain operations as well as repairs to a building that was now more than 50 years old. The hotel closed its doors in 1982.

During the next 30 years, the property fell into further decline. Much of the original interior stone, wood and metal was removed by various owners, and the building was inhabited by pigeons. In the 1990s, a program was funded to purchase and replace most of the broken windows in the building.

In 2006, G. Brint Ryan purchased the hotel. Ryan, who grew up in Big Spring, was determined to revitalize this aging landmark, and invested $30 million in its renovation. Under his guidance, the building was impeccably restored, and designed with the rich history of the area in mind. The original Grand Ballroom was fully refurbished, with detail given to its historic context. 

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