As railroad lines made travel easier for the people of the state, a group of South Texas businessmen developed plans to attract vacationers to Corpus Christi. The construction of the Nueces Hotel in 1912-1913 was part of this development. Prominently sited on the waterfront, the hotel featured a banquet hall, two private dining rooms, a sun parlor, and 205 guest rooms. Hard times in Corpus Christi and damage sustained during the 1919 hurricane made the first years of the Nueces Hotel difficult ones. The hotel fared well, however, during the prosperous 1920s, due partly to improved railroad service and the opening of the port of Corpus Christi in 1926. By 1928 South Texas rancher William Whitby Jones (1858-1942) and his three daughters had gained control of most of the hotel stock. Ownership of the Nueces Hotel remained in the Jones family until 1961, and the structure then served for a time as a retirement center. In 1970 hurricane Celia caused such extensive damage to the old hotel that it was condemned and demolished a year later. For more than 50 years the Nueces Hotel was a center of civic and social activities, as well as a vacation facility. Its history serves as a reminder of Corpus Christi's development as a resort area.