Beyond the Surface: How Mineral Wells Thrives Through Creative Partnerships

*This text originally appeared in an article for Texas Towns and Cities Magazine in April 2021. It has been updated for this blog post.

It is always fun to get a call from another community asking us to share how we got here. Here being a growing and thriving community after so many years of decline.

Mineral Wells was once known as “America’s Great Health Resort,” drawing both the rich and famous and everyday families in droves, all for the “healing” waters. But in the early 1970s, the FDA decided we could no longer claim our waters had healing properties. About the same time Fort Wolters, the military base, was decommissioned. Almost overnight, the community went from buzzing to sleeping.

Then, in the fall of 2018, Mineral Wells started coming back to life. Very visibly and very quickly, especially in the downtown area. Historic buildings that sat empty or were used for storage for many years were cleaned out and filled with new businesses. Things were happening and people noticed.

So, what happened? Why now?

That is what people are asking us.

The answer – well, it is a true community effort fueled by passionate, visionary community leaders coming together with a plan to revitalize Mineral Wells. Today, more than 40 historic downtown buildings have been revived, including The Crazy Water Hotel. The famous Baker Hotel is also undergoing restoration and is set to reopen in 2026.

Crazy Water Hotel Exterior Closeup
Renovated Crazy Water Hotel
The Baker Hotel & Spa

 The Market @ 76067

The Market At 76067 and Coffee & Cocktails At 76067 were among the first and most visible indicators that Mineral Wells was making a comeback. Owners Misty and Randy Nix purchased three historic, adjoining buildings at the main intersection downtown, one of which had been empty for years. With an eye on preserving the historic character while bringing modern style, they renovated the three spaces to become a multi-vendor retail experience and a high-end drink spot.

The Market at 76067
Nancy Edens pottery
Bar with chairs at Coffee and Cocktails

“The idea started with going to my 12 favorite shops and bringing them into The Market. They would have little shops within The Market without looking like booths. We wanted the look and feel of Anthropologie,” Misty Nix shared. It was a successful idea that attracted many vendors, both local and non-local.

The Market now has more than 160 merchants of which 75% are local. In fact, after a bit of research, they discovered that at least 30 vendors are currently generating enough revenue to be able to support their families solely from sales made at The Market.

Though having a retail shop made of muti-vendors is not a new concept, it is worth mentioning because of how successful it has been. But the partnership beyond the vendors is even more impressive. Nix reached out to the other shops downtown and asked them to bring some of their merchandise to The Market. “I don’t want to compete with anybody,” Misty said. “I want to make sure we all thrive.”

I want to make sure we all thrive.

Misty Nix
chandelier at The Market @ 76067

Clothing and apparel from The Kraze, home goods and dips from Brazos Market & Bistro, pies and baked goods from a local baker, Crazy Water – the list continues. Even the luxurious lighting they installed is available to order from partner lighting companies.

Magpie Inn

Another great example is Magpie Inn, a bed and breakfast in the downtown area. Owner and chef Magen Desnoyers believes in focusing on what she does well – hospitality and cooking – and then finding others who do what they do well to help her run a successful inn.

“It’s something I’m very passionate about,” Magen said. “One of our core principles is luxury and quality from check-in to check-out. We do that by partnering with local businesses whenever we can.”

One of our core principles is luxury and quality from check-in to check-out. We do that by partnering with local businesses whenever we can.

Magen Desnoyers
Magpie Inn Mineral Wells

Without knowing it, guests of the inn are completely immersed in Mineral Wells from the moment they enter. Fresh flowers from The Flower Shop @ 76067 adorn the dining table and every guest room. Morning coffee is a Papua New Guinea blend from You Maka Me Hot Coffee. Crazy Water is in every room and cooked into every meal. “If a recipe calls for water, I use Crazy Water,” Magen shared. Branded Magpie Inn apparel is from Allstar Apparel and other souvenir merchandise is custom made by Bryton + Co. DIY Studio, both local businesses.

The list continues, but one of the most fun collaborations finds Magen teaching cooking classes at Coffee & Cocktails @ 76067. Most classes include a two- to three-course meal and sometimes a mixed drink. Not surprisingly, the classes usually sell out.

Rickhouse Brewing

One of the most innovative partnerships comes from Brian Miller and Alan Clarke, the owners of Rickhouse Brewing. Located on the first floor of the The Crazy Water Hotel, they have menus in the hotel rooms, at each station of the salon and spa (also located in The Crazy Water Hotel), and each table in the hotel lobby. Guests can place their order and have it delivered to them at the location from which they ordered.

Rickhouse Brewing
Creative Partnerships at Rickhouse Brewing
Rickhouse Brewing dominoes and comedy

Taking the concept another step, Miller and Clarke have partnered with Smokin’ 3 Cs and Brazos Market & Bistro, just a couple blocks away, to add select food items to their menu. “We’ll do anything that makes sense,” Miller said as he explained the plans with the neighboring restaurants. “There’s no need for us to carry a full menu and we won’t prepare or touch the food at all.”

Increasingly, local business owners are embracing a “what’s good for all” business model. Whether it is simply referring customers to other businesses or creating partnerships like those we have just shared, the benefits are clear and the whole community is benefiting.

When considering whether other businesses could profit from these kinds of collaborations, Magen from Magpie Inn told us, “It does not cost that much more, but it makes a big difference. It makes a better guest experience and it’s all of us supporting each other.” Additional benefits include:

  • Ensuring that all our local businesses thrive.
  • Allowing each business to focus on their strengths while still increasing their offerings.
  • Improving guest experience which results in more time and money spent at your destination.
  • Creating cross-promotion opportunities that increase the reach of each participating business.

How did we get here?
Together, with everyone working toward the good of the community rather than just themselves.