Tim Boyle

Tim Boyle, a Mesa architect and Planning and Zoning Board member, represents new Buckhorn Baths owner Ajay Verma, who purchased the historic property near Main Street and Recker Road for $3.8 million. 

A developer is in the early stages of resurrecting Mesa’s famed Buckhorn Mineral Baths. 

The Buckhorn Baths, a quirky part of Mesa’s Wild West history, continue a long path toward resurrection – or, perhaps, reincarnation.

The legendary resort is in the early stages of refashioning the old motel as an apartment complex. The plan also calls for the return of the spa.

New owner Ajay Verma, who formerly lived in Mesa, purchased the historic property near Main Street and Recker Road for $3.8 million.

Tim Boyle, a Mesa architect and Planning and Zoning Board member, represents Verma.

“We’ve submitted the pre-application (plan) to the city and have our first formal meeting with them tomorrow,” Boyle said Monday.

The pre-application plan describes “190 multifamily apartment units on 11.5 acres to the north and west of Mesa’s Historic Buckhorn Baths.”

Later phases “include further renovation of the historic site and the creation of a new spa/hotel amenity in the spirit of the original historic use.”

Ted and Alice Sliger bought the land for Buckhorn in 1936, then spent a decade developing the resort, uniquely featuring a wildlife museum and mineral bath.

Ted Sliger, who was also a taxidermist, stumbled onto the 112-degree mineral water while looking for a drinking water source.

The Buckhorn Mineral Baths and Wildlife Museum also has a treasured spot in Cactus League history.

According to Roadside America, “The New York (later San Francisco) Giants roomed at the Buckhorn Mineral Baths, a classic roadside stop in Mesa. Their manager, Leo Durocher, loved the place. A silver tray presented by the 1952 team still rests in the museum.”

The bathhouse in its heyday hosted 75 people a day.

“The Buckhorn Mineral Baths opened in 1939, drawing those with arthritis and kindred ailments to their hot springs, famous for odorless water infused with potassium, silica, magnesium and iron,” according to Roadside America.

“An old style motel with individual kitchenettes and covered carports followed.”

The baths closed in 1999, while the motel closed in 2007. 

Boyle previously told the Tribune the new owner is “excited about bringing the museum back and the potential for the spa,’’ Boyle said. “They have a commitment to Mesa and they have a commitment to quality.’’

He added the main building “has good bones.”

And the mineral water is apparently still flowing. 

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