Retiring members of Old Town Hot Springs board lent decades of experience |

Retiring members of Old Town Hot Springs board lent decades of experience

Margaret Hair

The Old Town Hot Springs recently said goodbye to four longtime board members who are retiring. Bud Romberg served on the board for 40 years.

— A combined 112 years of experience will leave the Old Town Hot Springs board of directors at the end of the month, when four longtime members retire.

Bud Romberg, Mike Holloran, Linda Cantway and George Tolles joined the board for a number of reasons – an unexpected nomination from one of the club’s members, a desire to provide recreational opportunities for more people or an interest in the programs at the Hot Springs, formerly the Steamboat Springs Health & Recreation Center.

What kept the four retiring members in service is the same across the board: a sense that the center provides something important for Steamboat Springs.

“It’s a tremendous community organization that contributes dramatically to the community and provides basically the role of a city pool for Steamboat,” said Holloran, who joined the board in 1977 and was president of the group for 14 years.

With its naturally heated pools, hot springs, fitness center, exercise classes and aquatics programs, Old Town Hot Springs became a community touch point in the 32 years Holloran served there, he said.

“It’s become just a central gathering place for a tremendous number of this community. To that extent, it’s a community institution as much as the library is a community institution,” Holloran said.

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Linda Cantway, who will leave the board after 25 years, said she joined as a result of spending hours at the pool with her four daughters.

“I just thought it was a perfect family-oriented place to be at the time, and it still continues to be that, and that’s what’s kept me there all these years,” Cantway said. In 25 years, the facility has added children’s aquatic elements, including “all the renovations : where a small child could swim without having to cling to his mother,” she said.

Diversity of programming was important to Cantway during her time on the board, she said.

“The standout thing is keeping the Health & Rec so that there’s something for everybody in the family to do, from the babies to the grandparents,” she said.

The health center was on rocky ground when Bud Romberg came to Steamboat in 1966. Romberg joined the board of directors in 1969, when the group had been around for just a year. The facility’s financial woes evaporated when Pat Carney became executive director, Romberg said, allowing the member-owned Hot Springs to operate in the black. Still, Romberg held onto his conservative view on spending.

“For a number of years, I felt that it was time for me to get off the board – and I said so, and the other board members urged me to stay on,” he said. “In fact, one of them told me, ‘Every board needs a curmudgeon.'”

The retiring board members are ready to turn the board over to a new guard, but they plan to stay involved and continue to work out there regularly.

“Every day, I find myself looking around thinking, ‘When are we going to fix this’ or ‘When are we going to fix that,'” Cantway said. “I think committees will come up that I think those of us who have been there a long time will be able to help with.”