Steamboat Springs After months of complicated construction, Old Town Hot Springs plans to open its renovated hot pools and two new water slides during a celebratory event Monday.
From 4 to 8 p.m., admission to the pools and use of the water slides will be free for the public.
"It's going to be a fun event," said Old Town Hot Springs spokeswoman Riley Polumbus. "I think everyone will be excited with the final result."
Old Town Hot Springs, on U.S. Highway 40 near Third Street in Steamboat Springs, embarked on its $5 million remodeling project in April 2007. To begin, construction workers demolished the large hot pool, which was kept at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The old green water slide, constructed in 1981, also was removed in addition to an indoor cardiovascular exercise wing.
The capital improvements expected to be completed by Monday include a new 3,000-square-foot hot pool; an aquatic climbing wall; a pair of 230-foot water slides; a 240-square-foot spa; a refurbished, 103-degree Heart Spring pool; a new, glass-enclosed slide tower; a remodeled lobby and a new cardio room overlooking the pools.
Hot Springs officials expect building inspections to be completed today and Friday, Polumbus said. Although the big celebration is Monday, Polumbus said there is a chance some of the new amenities could open before then.
The target date to complete the massive remodeling project was Christmas Day, because Hot Springs officials wanted to take advantage of the revenue that would have been generated from holiday tourism. But construction at the facility, which is visited 250,000 times a year by residents and visitors, was complicated by numerous surprises during the past nine months.
For example, excavation around the Heart Spring revealed a hot spring that had never been utilized. Old Town Hot Springs Executive Director Pat Carney estimated as many as 100 gallons a minute had been leaking from the spring. A pit was created to collect the additional water, which can now be used in the pools.
On Dec. 19, 2007, Old Town Hot Springs officials were doubtful of a Christmas Day opening, but still thought at least some of the new amenities would be opened by New Year's Day.
"We were very hopeful that would work out," Polumbus said.
In retrospect, Polumbus said they realize that saying some of the amenities would be open by New Year's Day might have been overly optimistic, given the numerous challenges. She said getting inspections scheduled and completed during the holiday season was difficult. A section of one of the water slides also had to be replaced.
"That was a major kink," Polumbus said.