Gulf Beach Hotel
Baars had envisioned the hotel as a seven-story, 275-room tourist destination on what was then largely uninhabited beachfront. Estimated to cost $1.5 million when completed, the hotel would include a bath house, dance pavilion, cafe and tea room. Convinced that the project would be a boon to the local economy, Escambia County Commissioners agreed on April 7, 1922 to construct a 13.7-mile highway from Warrington to the hotel's site on Perdido Key. They issued a $2 million bond to pave the road, Gulf Beach Highway, which opened two years later on April 13, 1924.
Without benefit of outside financing, Baars sank around $470,000 of his own money into the initial construction, which included driving steel pilings 75 feet into the subsurface to help withstand hurricanes, before a real estate bust and various cost overruns forced him to halt development.
- "After 60 years, Baars' dream may come true." Pensacola News Journal, May 25, 1986.