Updated January 24, 2011 at 12:30 a.m.
Steamboat Springs Strawberry Park Hot Springs owner Don Johnson said an employee robbed of between $700 and $800 at gunpoint and pepper sprayed Saturday night is doing fine.
“He’s a little shaken up,” Johnson said Sunday.
Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said a man entered the ticket area just before 11 p.m. with a gun and asked for cash at the hot springs off Routt County Road 36. After getting the cash the man told the hot springs employee to get on the floor, Birch said. Birch said the man then pepper sprayed the employee and ripped a phone out of the wall before fleeing.
A shuttle driver found the employee. Because the driver didn’t have cell phone service at the hot springs, he drove to where he could call 911. Birch said 20 to 40 minutes had elapsed by the time the authorities were reached. The employee was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center, treated and released.
Two employees were working at the hot springs Saturday night, Johnson said. He said one left at about 10:15 p.m., 15 minutes before the hot springs closed, leaving one employee in the ticket area. He said a night watchman was supposed to come on duty at 11 p.m., but failed to show up.
Johnson said he is working on adding security cameras at the hot springs as an additional security measure. He said the fact that one of his employees was threatened with a gun is “really scary,” not just for him, but for all local businesses.
“It’s a sad day when we have to see that kind of stuff in Steamboat,” Johnson said.
Birch wouldn’t provide specifics including the type of gun used or a physical description of the suspect or his vehicle. But he did say that the Sheriff’s Office thinks only one person was involved in the robbery.
The investigation is ongoing, Birch said. He said the Sheriff’s Office would conduct additional interviews Sunday and more information would be available in a couple of days.
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com