View from the Deck of Salado Creek
Salado Historic DistrictIn August of 2009, I received a call from Bella our partner, who was introduced to a property for sale that might be another possible location for our first wellness center (the other property fell through due to the owners backing out of the deal).  The property was  located in Salado, Texas, perfectly spaced between the cities of Waco and Austin, and renowned for its history as an original stop for the stage lines. Founded at the Old Military Road crossing of Salado Creek on October 8, 1859, early Scottish settlers found its plentiful springs and rich farmland irresistible.  Salado became a bustling commerce and cultural center, influenced by the launching of Salado College on the same date.  The college was very progressive, the first in its state to operate without church or state funding and offer mixed-sex education at the same institution.

Facing the Fork of Salado CreekWe found the town beautifully quaint and peaceful, with old historical homes and structures lining the old stagecoach stretch (now the main street) cutting through the heart of the town. There were multiple antique and specialty shops, numerous historical artifacts and sculptures made by local artists, and a lovely driving tour that directs you past 23 historic Salado sites. In fact, there are some 10 Art Galleries featuring artists of great renown, from Salado and beyond.  Many say that this town is the up and coming, thriving arts community in Texas.
The property faces Salado Creek, a clear, spring-fed stream that flows into the Lampasas River in Bell County. The creek crosses east central Texas, with many springs, mineral outcrops, unusual geological The Conference Centerformations, Indian camps, and historic sites found around it.  From a California perspective, I would hardly call this a “creek” and more like a river.  There are also 2 lakes nearby for fishing and water sports.  Because of the abundance of water there, the area was bursting with wildlife.  We really loved the ambiance, despite the slow business and sleepy tourist activity. But as we found out from our developer later, Salado Springs is one of the three most popular, visited cities for a weekend jaunt away from it all!

Since the Fort Hood Army Base is only about 40 minutes west of Salado, there was a strong respect for the military with the locals.  This of course, could have more to do with the fact that many colonels and high ranking officers retired in the village.  But apparently, Salado captured retirees from Texas’ main cities Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.  The socio-economic groups range from the good ol’ boys in the blue collar sector to rich and famous multi-millionaires.

Aerial of 27 acre lotThe purchase included over 40 acres with 11 parcels consisting of an existing bed and breakfast business, conference center, several homes, some old historical buildings such as an old schoolhouse, and a custom deck area for weddings and special events.  It met enough of our criteria to fly out and take a look at it. We decided to fly out November of 2009 to walk the property and review its business activity, schematics, P & L’s, and more.

We also took the opportunity to meet up with Michael in Dallas to discuss his expert perspective on this location and location.  We also visited local shop keepers, another spa, the Stagecoach Inn, and a wine tasting establishment with live music.  On Saturday night, we enjoyed a local stage production at the old Silver Spur Theater, a renovated 1950s Guest & Sanford Granary.   It seems that there is much under-developed and under-used talent in the village.  There is a close private airport available, for hang gliding, as well as two other nearby airports situated  in Georgetown and Killeen.

A View on the Property Through the TreesOne of the Natural Springs on The Property

View From Deck

Inside the Conference Center

View Down the Creek

Riverside

Outside Patio for Tea

View of Local Park Across the Creek