Chip and Joanna Gaines could also be approaching a saturation level in Waco. Because the couple first let cameras roll on their dwelling renovation operation with 2013’s Fixer Higher, an unequalled hit for then-network HGTV, the Gaineses have managed to remodel their Central Texas city into the hub for a thriving leisure and life model. There, they’ve constructed a retail empire, began a profitable journal, launched a TV community and, as of this autumn, opened a lodge — all whereas changing into family names for a big portion of America. “We’ve solely acquired 33 rooms,” says Chip, his Lone Star State modesty coming by means of throughout a late-October Zoom alongside his spouse. “I don’t even assume this qualifies as a boutique lodge.”
“It’s nonetheless 50,000 sq. toes,” notes Joanna, who started renovating the defunct Shriners lodge in 2019, when the youngest of their 5 kids was barely a yr previous. (They despatched their oldest off to school in August.) “We’ve been engaged on this for thus lengthy. It’s aged us somewhat bit.”
Like practically all of their endeavors, this one will discover its solution to TV. Fixer Higher: The Resort, a six-episode collection, premieres Nov. 8 on their Magnolia Community, Discovery+ and, crucially to bosses at Warner Bros. Discovery, streamer Max. The Gaineses have been among the many platform’s calling playing cards when it launched in Might. It’s additionally key to their very own sprawling media outfit, lately setting a improvement slate of family-friendly programming completely for Max.
There’s a noticeable lack of demolition on this new present, Chip. Are you reducing again on the bodily work now that you simply’re a go well with?
Chip Gaines No manner! Demo day remains to be my favourite. I like breaking stuff down greater than constructing it again up. However on this one, every thing that required demolition was so particular and technical. That’s probably not my factor.
Joanna Gaines After they noticed Chip coming, they’d divert his consideration. It’s a historic constructing. We needed to be extra meticulous.
The completed product could be very artwork deco. Jo, you constructed your repute on the farmhouse aesthetic. Do you ever end up preventing that expectation?
Joanna There’s a giant group who solely see me in that mild.
Chip They nearly really feel offended when she steps out of that lane.
Joanna And we nonetheless dwell in that farmhouse that was on Fixer Higher, however I’ve to continuously evolve. I don’t ever wish to get caught. In case you actually comply with my work, you’ll see I attempt to let the undertaking inform me what it must be. On the unique Fixer Higher, we have been working for owners who stated, “I need a home that appears like yours.” They have been paying for it. I couldn’t inform them no! (Laughs.) So I do see how I acquired caught in that.
With the unique Fixer Higher, HGTV all the time wished extra homes, extra episodes when the present hit so large. You shortly established boundaries. Now that you simply’re programmers, do you discover yourselves asking expertise for extra?
Chip I really feel like we have been scarred in that manner. Being on the other aspect of the aisle, typically it’s like, “If they may simply give us six extra episodes. How onerous wouldn’t it be?” However we resist that impulse. It’s onerous to drive any person to the online conclusion of “extra is healthier” after which in the identical breath say, “We wish to honor you and your high quality of life.”
Joanna And once you pressure it, the magic leaves the room.
Chip We surprise typically … if we had somewhat extra leverage, extra bandwidth or capability, might we’ve got stayed within the HGTV ecosystem for years and years longer? As a result of we labored so onerous, 5 years felt like 100. We have been actually able to exit stage left.
It’s been over two years since Magnolia Community launched digitally and practically a yr because you launched on cable. What have you ever realized about your viewers?
Chip The enjoyable factor concerning the present market is that the neatest individuals on the earth don’t know what the way forward for this enterprise seems like. So for creatives, it provides us room to make errors, to attempt issues. We’ll say, “Hey, Casey Bloys, we want to do this.” Then we sit on pins and needles, and Casey is like, “OK, do it.”
Joanna What’s fascinating is that there are two totally different audiences. On the linear aspect, we’re discovering persons are drawn to how they first met us — dwelling renovation and design. The demographic is somewhat older. There’s extra of a want to construct the library out for them. On streaming, you could possibly do a present for one or two seasons after which the viewers is like, “What’s the following factor?” In order that’s what we’re wanting into.
Do you have got vacation programming? There’s possible a possibility there together with your viewers.
Chip Jo and I are a home divided as a result of David Zaslav and I’ve had a number of conversations about doing a Hallmark-style film.
Joanna Scripted vacation!
Chip I’m very . I might be superior in that.
Joanna I can’t. So long as Chip can have one other spouse, and y’all are good with that, I’d like to see it. However I didn’t greenlight this. We’ll give it some thought subsequent yr.
Between the Silos retail and leisure advanced, the eating places, the workplaces and now the lodge, you might need hit peak Waco. Do you speak about increasing bodily retail or hospitality in different markets?
Joanna We’re actually wrestling with that proper now.
Chip You will need to’ve talked to the mayor. Waco is like, “Hey, perhaps you wish to attempt a distinct metropolis for a change.” (Laughs.)
Joanna It’s been 20 years since we began Magnolia, the enterprise, and proper now we’re simply letting all of it sink in earlier than eager about the place we’re going subsequent. However, on the finish of the day, we like to construct and create issues. What we wish to scale and what we don’t wish to scale, that’s what we’re contemplating proper now.
Earlier this yr, you acquire the late Larry McMurtry’s bookstore in Chip’s mother and father’ hometown, Archer Metropolis. What’s happening there?
Chip Larry McMurtry was arguably the best author that claimed Texas as his dwelling state. He was a barely older classmate to my mother and father — and when he handed, his shopkeeper, Crystal, inherited the bookstore and his assortment. She known as my mother and father to see if I used to be excited by shopping for it. We now personal Larry’s assortment.
Joanna Chip considered placing a bit of that assortment within the lodge library and our workplace. I wanted 15,000 books.
Chip So I known as Crystal and stated, “Remind me what number of books you have got.” That is previous tense, by the best way, I’d already purchased the entire retailer. She says, “Oh, there are 356,000 particular person titles.”
Joanna There are lots of of 1000’s of books nonetheless in Archer Metropolis that we’re working by means of. As soon as we determine what we’re doing, we’ll let people know.
Your oldest left the nest this summer season. How are you doing?
Joanna The final 10 years have been a little bit of a whirlwind for us each, and I stayed very even-keeled. However my child leaving for faculty? That modifications issues! Perhaps it’s coupled with a midlife disaster. I did begin to journey horses. My purpose is to barrel race by age 50. I’m taking a look at issues very in another way.
Chip The opposite day I noticed her scrolling by means of crimson Porsches.
Joanna I didn’t! You may’t consider half the shit he says.
This story first appeared within the Nov. 8 problem of The Hollywood Reporter journal. Click on right here to subscribe.