Jacqueline F Cooper/Shutterstock
Chip and Joanna Gaines have a reputation of keeping DIY and home decor enthusiasts on their toes. They’ve transformed homes from drab to fab on their hit TV show Fixer Upper; they broke our hearts when they announced the show would come to an end; and they excited everyone with product launches, from paint to books and even a partnership with Target. So it should come as no surprise they’re here with bigger, more surprising news than ever before.
The power duo has officially announced they’re opening their first hotel! They made the announcement on their social media channels and the Magnolia blog. “We are excited we finally get to share some news with you,” says Joanna in a YouTube video. In humorous fashion, Chip runs away from the camera and reappears wearing a bellhop uniform.
“Ya’ll! We’re going to have a hotel in downtown Waco, Texas,” Chip says.
Located a few blocks from the couple’s successful Magnolia Market at the Silos, the hotel will revamp the iconic Grand Karem Shrine—a three-story, 53,000-square-foot space built in 1928. Slated to open in 2021, renovations kick off this fall. The’ve partnered with Ben Weprin and his team at Adventurous Journey (AJ Capital) to complete the project. AJ Capital has an impressive portfolio, including Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans, The Chicago Athletic Association in Chicago, the Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley, California, and The Armory in San Francisco.
So, why the decision to dive into the hospitality industry with a hotel? Really, it has a lot to do with being at home! “We are, without a doubt, firm believers that home is the most important place on earth. But we’ve also learned that home can be found beyond a physical dwelling,” says Joanna on the Magnolia blog. “It encompasses more than the place where our mail is delivered. Home is a feeling, created by and for the people you love and share your life with; it’s a state of being known and loved just as you are.”
“That is our dream for this hotel—that it would serve as an extension of the way we feel about our own home and all it represents to us, and that every guest who comes to stay would experience that same sense of belonging and community. A weary traveler who’s searching for rest, a parent who needs a weekend to recharge, a family eager for an adventure, or anyone else simply looking for a place to settle in and be filled up. In all of these things, what it really comes down to is our desire to create a place where people feel welcomed home.”
Check out the rendering of the new hotel here.