Prices rising like steam

Old Town Hot Springs $1M over projection

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Melissa Clements, an annual Steamboat visitor, soaks in the hot springs at the Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Center in downtown Steamboat Springs on Wednesday.

If you go

What: Meeting of the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission, including a review of renovations to the hot pools at the Old Town Hot Springs

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Contact: Call city planning offices at 871-8258 for more information.

— Another local construction project is proving to be much costlier than expected.

Less than a month after the new Steamboat Springs Community Center was bid at more than $1 million over budget, Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Association Director Pat Carney said Wednesday renovations of the hot pools at the Old Town Hot Springs, at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat, could cost about $1 million more than originally estimated.

Carney said the original $2.5 million cost of the hot pool renovations was an estimate made two years ago and "not based on hard costs." The project's new price tag is $3.5 million - another example of rising construction costs in the midst of Steamboat Springs' booming development.

"I think everybody is experiencing this," said Tom Leeson, director of the city's planning department.

The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission is scheduled tonight to review the hot pool renovations. Pending city approval, the renovations would include two new waterslides, both shorter than the current slide; more natural elements, such as trees and landscaping; and the combination of existing hot pools into a large, curving pool spanned by two bridges. Denver architectural firm Sink Combs Dethlefs designed the renovations, which would close the hot pools from April until November.

TCD Inc. of Steamboat is the contractor for the renovation project.

Carney said some of the 5,500 local members of the Old Town Hot Springs have expressed false concerns about a widespread closure of the recreation center.

"The only things that will be closed are the hot pools and the (existing) waterslide," Carney said. "The big outdoor (lap) pool will be totally open."

A flier mailed to members March 1 explained the renovations, which Carney and Old Town Hot Springs officials also detailed in a series of public meetings in recent months.

Carney said two large, adults-only hot tubs will be placed outside near the lap pool. Each tub will hold seven or eight adults, Carney said. Cardiovascular exercise equipment located on the recreation center's second floor will be moved to other areas of the center - such as the bicycle "spin" room that is not used in summer months - while the entrance to the new waterslides is built.

"Everything is going to be there, it just might be harder to get to it," Carney said.

Carney said some Old Town Hot Springs members, such as those not currently using group discount rates, can receive compensation such as a free one- or two-month extension of an expired membership. But she declined to discuss specifics of the compensation, saying it is a sensitive issue that the Old Town Hot Springs Board of Directors has not yet finalized.

"We are doing things to try and help membership, but we're in a financial bind ourselves," Carney said. "We're trying to do the best we can for our members, but in a way that we can survive this with some money coming through the door - it's a delicate balance. Members can get more information when they come to the front desk."

Carney has said the health and recreation association can borrow about $4 million, and has about $600,000 saved for construction.

"We realize what a hit we're going to take this summer," she said Wednesday. "We're asking the members to stay with us on this."

- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

beentheredonethat 7 years, 8 months ago

total incompetence at the health and rec center goes on and on. having an all volunteer board supervising weak management will lead to the patchwork of construction projects displayed year after year.

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WZ 7 years, 8 months ago

It's all for the better. Thanks, and good luck!

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bartender 7 years, 8 months ago

Last time I was there all the members were complaining about the place. Everything from the hours and remodles to the music and general atmosphere, which really sucks. I asked why no one complained, and everyone said they do, but they could only play what Pat liked then told to go by headphones. So 8 of the 10 people wore headphones to workout. They can't take a hint. Classic rock in a freakin' gym? I wish someone would open a real gym here and leave the HR to be a social club and local pool. The place is a management mess and it reflects as the staff can be unfriendly. Not to mention the existing building and facility is in need of modern repairs.

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reallocal 7 years, 8 months ago

Does anyone in this town actually get estimates on projects before they dedicate funding to them? And if we REALLY need all this stuff, why aren't we hiring local firms and companies to do the work? That way we could at least keep some of that $4.6 around here...

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reallocal 7 years, 8 months ago

Does anyone in this town actually get estimates on projects before they dedicate funding to them? And if we REALLY need all this stuff, why aren't we hiring local firms and companies to do the work? That way we could at least keep some of that $4.6 million around here...

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another_local 7 years, 8 months ago

Wait until you see the libary bid. I predict it will exceed the bonding authority.

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reallocal 7 years, 8 months ago

Oh, I am sure that it already has...if only I could get someone to loan me money beyond my means so that I could get fancy new stuff. Sigh.

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