Steamboat Springs The Old Town Hot Springs Board of Directors voted to defer its new construction fee last week, after many members saw their rates double or even triple in some price categories.
In March, the facility announced that a capital development assessment of $100 for an individual and $150 for a family would go into effect April 1, along with significantly increased membership dues.
"The membership fees increased too much, too fast," Old Town Hot Springs Executive Director Pat Carney said.
The capital development assessment was to be set aside and strictly devoted to Phase II construction costs, but the facility's board of directors voted to defer the fee after only 11 days in effect. The news was shared with lifetime members at their annual meeting Monday night.
Phase I of the construction, which included work on the facility's pools and waterslides, is nearing completion. The current plans for Phase II include significant work to the fitness portion of the recreation center, including the expansion of the second floor over the existing parking lot.
Finals plans for Phase II still are in limbo, as the adjacent U.S. Postal Service building is being considered for demolition - and Old Town Hot Springs is eyeing the site.
"It's still up in the air as far as we know," Carney said. "It's definitely happening, but as far as the who, the what and the where, we don't know."
"I thought that was great - I'm happy that they dismissed the $150," lifetime member Melissa VanArsdale said Wednesday, as she arrived at Old Town Hot Springs so her daughter could take a dip in the pool.
Any member of Old Town Hot Springs who paid the capital development assessment is entitled to have the fee refunded or applied to future membership dues, spokeswoman Riley Polumbus said. Alternatively, members could make the fee a tax-deductible donation to the facility, she said.
Carney is "cautiously optimistic" that Phase II of the construction will continue as planned, thanks to increased revenues that the refurbished pools and waterslides already are bringing in. Daily non-member admissions have doubled, and waterslide ticket sales are up 150 percent - 200 percent on a good day, Carney said.
"The new pools are definitely paying off," Polumbus said.
Old Town Hot Springs also will be starting a capital development finance committee, made up of members, to brainstorm creative ways to fundraise, Carney said.
To celebrate spring break for Steamboat students and to thank its membership for being patient with construction, the waterslides at Old Town Hot Springs will be free for members next week, Carney said. Nonmembers will receive half off daily admission.
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