UCHealth donates $1 million to Old Town Hot Springs capital campaign | SteamboatToday.com

UCHealth donates $1 million to Old Town Hot Springs capital campaign

Work on the new addition at Old Town Hot Springs is moving ahead on schedule with an expected completion date in April. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Supporters of the expansion efforts at Old Town Hot Springs have a million reasons to feel thankful this holiday season.

Earlier this week, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center announced it was making a $1 million donation to the Old Town Hot Springs capital campaign, establishing a 10-year partnership between the two nonprofits focused on wellness.

"For us, in terms of our fundraising, it could not have come at a more crucial time, so we are very grateful," Old Town Hot Springs Executive Director Stephanie Orozco said.

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She said the donation and partnership is something the two groups have been working on for the past 18 months.

The donation comes from the contribution UCHealth made to the Yampa Valley Medical Center Foundation when the two organizations came together in 2017. Foundation Executive Director Karen Schneider said the community’s connection to the hot springs and the nonprofit’s role in promoting physical health played into the decision.

"You would be really hard pressed to find another partnership that would affect as many people in this community," Schneider said. "By supporting Old Town Hot Springs, UCHealth is investing in our local community. Whether you're exercising, rehabilitating an injury or recreating in the hot springs themselves, Old Town Hot Springs will continue to be a gathering place in Steamboat Springs for years to come."

Soniya Fidler, interim president and chief operating officer of Yampa Valley Medical Center, said she is excited about the new partnership aimed at improving the health of residents in Steamboat and surrounding communities.

Thanks to the partnership, hospital patients, hot springs members and the community will have access to nutrition and healthy lifestyle education, on-site physical and aquatic therapy, use of the indoor walking track and more. The donation also will benefit the dozens of classes and programs already offered at Old Town Hot Springs.

"We will be able to offer aquatic therapy … and also programs that will be focused towards the wellness of the community," Fidler said. "We can partner with them to create topics that are beneficial to the community and offer a place that they can go to, that is not necessarily the hospital, where they can learn more about health and wellness."

Planned improvements

Old Town Hot Springs is in the middle of a five-year, $10 million capital campaign dedicated to raising funds to expand and renovate its existing building and complete pool improvements.

Construction is underway on a new 15,000-square-foot addition that includes community gathering and meeting spaces, an indoor walking track, a climbing wall and a fitness center expansion. This phase is expected to cost just over $6 million and is on schedule to be completed in April.

The second phase, which is planned to start in 2021, will include renovating the lap pool, adding lanes and improving the surrounding play and diving areas. The planned improvements are the first to lap pool since 2000 and will expand water programming for all ages.

The Yampa Valley Medical Center donation and $286,000 in lodging tax revenues from the city of Steamboat are leading the fundraising efforts for the capital campaign, which has reached about 70 percent of the $10 million needed to finish both phases of the project.

Orozco said fundraising efforts will continue.

"There is a perception that with the new building that prices are going to go up," Orozco said. "I think it is important for the community to know that our goal is always to keep memberships affordable for individuals and families in this town while continuing to bring essentially value. We always evaluate prices and member benefits. I can say there is no way that our memberships can fund this project. We need community help in this."

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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