Old Town Hot Springs launches new $6M capital campaign to renovate pools
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The idea of renovating the pool area at the Old Town Hot Springs has Executive Director Stephanie Orozco focused on the facility’s future for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Steamboat Springs.
“I feel like this is a feel good story. It’s like a pool will prevail, and it gives the community something to look forward to,” Orozco said. “It lets people know there are still things to look forward to, and I can’t wait to share the plans with everyone in early 2021.”
The pools will be the latest improvement project at the Old Town Hot Springs, which has been in existence in Steamboat Springs since the late 1800s. In spring 2019, the downtown facility completed a $7 million, 15,000-foot expansion that included an expanded fitness center, community space with kitchen and a climbing wall.
The improvements included the addition of a state-of-the-art HVAC system that has allowed the facility to maintain an elevated level of ventilation during the pandemic.
Pool renovation is the latest project Old Town will undertake, and the nonprofit has launched a new capital campaign to raise an additional $6 million.
“I’ve been on the board for 13 years, and there has been a plan,” Orozco said. “It started with the expansion of the child care room and then the remodel of the lobby. It has been a step-by-step plan.”
Orozco said the need to expand the facility, which serves more than 8,000 members, has more than 100 employees and hosts about 300,000 visitors in a normal year, is the driving force behind the improvements.
The “It’s in the Water” campaign is focused on raising the money needed to improve the kiddie and lap pool areas at the downtown facility. Orozco said if fundraising goes well, the project would begin in fall 2022 and would be completed by summer 2023. The hot pools, which were renovated in 2007, will remain open during the construction project.
The lap pool was built in 1968, and in the 1980s, it was re-coated, new skimmers were added to improve filtration and a wall was added to separate the shallow end from the lap lanes. Then in 1998, the upper deck area was added and the kiddie area was renovated.
Orozco said several focus groups were held to elicit ideas on how the community pools could be improved. The facility also identified several of its own priorities, including swimming lessons, aquatics group exercise classes, lap swimming and therapy.
“We’re working right now with the pool developers to come up with a plan,” Orozco said. “Our biggest restraints are fitting everything on a flat surface between the hillside, the building and (U.S.) Highway 40. So, it’s challenging, but we are working right now on plans, and we’ll have those out in 2021,”
Old Town Hot Springs will be working with Counsilman Hunsaker on the project.
“During the closure and COVID, we just felt it was appropriate to pause this, so we could focus on the safety of our members, guests and our staff,” Orozco said. “But when we opened back up, it was really emotional to watch people come back to the facility for the first time, after three months, and there was just this massive outpouring of gratitude. We know just how important the pools are to this community. and we’re just ready to roll out again and drive forward.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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