Old Town Hot Springs unveils plan for pool improvements
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Old Town Hot Springs made a splash Monday laying out plans for improvements to the pools, which the leadership team said will take the downtown landmark into the future.
“Our campaign is called, ‘It’s in the Water,’ and it’s a capital campaign to finish the balance of what was started in 2016,” said Penny Fletcher, a member of the Old Town Hot Springs Campaign Committee. “The main reasons as to why we’re trying to hit this hard right now is that, with the increasing construction costs and the amount of money that we’re trying to raise, we feel it’s important to capitalize and get as much money as we possibly can into the bank and lock in our commitments.”
The campaign needs to raise $6 million to complete the project, which started in 2011 with planning and feasibility studies and building renovations that began in 2017.
Project manager Pat Carney said COVID-19 played havoc with fundraising plans in 2020, but the time has come to move forward.
“We’re very cognizant of the COVID year that we’ve had, and we’ve pulled back on our active solicitations,” Carney said. “We’ve just been figuring out what we want to do and how we want to do it. We feel like, by this spring and summer, the time will be right for us to ask the community for help.”
Old Town Hot Springs Executive Director Stephanie Orozco said there is an urgency in moving forward especially when considering the pools will not be completed until 2024.
Those who would like to contribute to Old Town Hot Springs’ “In the Water” capital campaign can make a one-time or recurring donation online at oldtownhotsprings.org/capital-campaign-for-our-future/.
Old Town Hot Springs is also selling pavers — $1,000 each — that will be used in the landscaping around the pool and will help with the fundraising efforts.
“You can put your family’s name on it, and with all the landscaping that’s going to be going on in and around the pool, we’re going to have a donor wall, which will be great,” said Penny Fletcher, a campaign committee member. “It’ll be really wonderful to see maybe your grandkids’ names on that wall or your family’s name.”
Old Town Hot Springs is a 501©3 private not-for-profit. It is not owned or supported by the city of Steamboat Springs.
“As more people move to Steamboat, we know that we’re not going to be able to service the needs of this entire community,” Orozco said. “And the infrastructure itself — this pool — is in need of a remodel. We feel confident that between generous donations, the amounts of money that we are able to save as an organization and then grants, we are going to be able to pull off this project.”
A new eight-lane, 20-yard by 25-yard pool, ranging from four feet in depth at the shallow end to 10 feet at the deep end will become the project’s centerpiece. The pool will include starting blocks and a 1-meter diving board and will meet the requirements needed to hold swim competitions.
“We have run into some issues in the past with a swimming pool not being deep enough to hold swim meets, so this is all part of the reason as to why this is being done,” Fletcher said. “But we are also doing this to serve many populations throughout Steamboat Springs — whether it’s our elderly residents that come and use it, our youth that learn to swim in it, the families that enjoy it and the recreational visitors that like to swim in it for fitness.”
Orozco said a new 20-yard by 10-yard community pool will be constructed and used for swim lessons, therapy and rehabilitation. It will serve as overflow for lap pools, and a bump-out will act as a new landing area for the slides.
“I’m so excited about this pool,” Orozco said. “It might be the most multi-purpose pool that we have in the new plan.”
Another addition will be a multi-use pool for those looking to soak in the naturally heated waters of Old Town Hot Springs.
“We are calling it ‘Baby Hot,’ and it’s a smaller version of some of the hotter pools,” Orozco said.
The pool that currently acts as a landing for the slides will be turned into an additional hot pool, and benches will be added for seating around the area.
Finally, the current kiddie pool will be replaced by a new splash pad on an upper deck on the other side of the swimming area. The pool will vary in depth from zero to about 6 inches and is designed to allow younger children to play safely in the water.
“This will be the place for families to congregate in the summer,” Orozco said. “This pool will take the place of our current shallow pool with the big purple octopus.”
The plan is to begin work on the new pool areas in fall 2023 with completion expected before summer 2024.
“The Old Town Hot Springs has been successful for so many years in maintaining a solid budget and not having to depend on a lot of funding from its members,” Fletcher said. “This is only the second time that there’s been an ask, and I think that’s something that we need to be very proud of as far as our community is concerned.”
For more information about the campaign or to donate, visit oldtownhotsprings.org/capital-campaign-for-our-future/
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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