Old Town Hot Springs kicks off $6M fundraising campaign for major renovations | SteamboatToday.com

Old Town Hot Springs kicks off $6M fundraising campaign for major renovations

Old Town Hot Springs has kicked off a capital fundraising campaign for a two-part expansion.

Pat Carney has been a driving force at the Old Town Hot Springs for generations, so it's no surprise that she is in a key position as the Old Town Hot Springs kicks off a fundraising campaign that has a goal of raising $3 million this year and $6 million by 2020.

"I am excited," Carney said about her new role as the campaign’s project manager. "This week is not a marked, great difference. We've been working on this for more than a year, we are still working on it and our plan is to just keep working on it. It's not like this (the capital campaign kick-off) is a giant celebration— it's more like business as usual."

Though Carney brings a unique perspective and a seemingly unending level of enthusiasm to the efforts to make large scale improvements to the downtown landmark, she is the first to point out that it’s a team effort. 

Her fellow fundraisers include board president Rich Lowe, Executive Director Stephanie Orozco, co-chairs Mary Brown and Eileen Allen and committee members Penny Fletcher, Barb Shipley, Kari Nelson, David Franzel, Holly Williams, Becky Lamb and Jill Leary. Together, the group is embarking on a two-part campaign aimed at raising the money needed for some of the biggest charges the downtown health and recreation center has seen in years.

"We've been talking about this for a year," Carney said. "Now it's time to start asking for the money to make it a reality."

In addition to reaching out to community groups and private individuals, the group will also pursue funding through the city’s accommodations tax.

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The committee has a goal of raising $3 million by the spring of 2018, so that the first phase of construction can begin. That phase will add 15,000 square feet to the existing building allowing room to expand the facility’s fitness and education programs. The improvements will also include an indoor walking track and a public climbing wall.

"I'm feel really passionate about this next phase," Carney said. "I have some experience in capital campaigning, and the campaign committee is very experienced in this stuff."

Carney said Old Town Hot Springs  is not supported by public funds, and the services that the facility provides the community come at no cost to the taxpayers. She also added that Old Town Hot Springs is different because the nonprofit generates enough revenue to sustain operations and only needs financial support for the planned capital upgrades.

The total project, which includes two phases, is estimated to cost about $9 million and will drastically change the appearance of the facility on the east side of downtown Steamboat Springs.

Carney said that if fundraising efforts go as planned, the first phase will begin in 2018 and will include the addition to the existing building. A reserve fund has been built up over the past couple of years to reduce the need for philanthropic giving, and Carney said the group has just under $2 million in the bank. It will be looking to raise an additional $3 million to begin work on the new building.

In preparation for the expansion, Old Town Hot Springs partnered with the city of Steamboat Springs to create an underpass from its property on Oak Street to the current facility several years ago. Work to turn the existing, under-utilized tennis courts into 69 additional parking spaces began this week.

The second phase of the project would renovate and expand the lap and kiddie pool area, creating space to ensure that adults and children could learn to swim. The improvements would also address fitness and competitive swimming with eight deeper lap lanes, which would allow the pool to host swimming competitions — something it currently can't do. 

Carney said the improvements are needed if the facility is going to continue to meet growing community needs for contemporary health and wellness activities, youth and senior programming and an improved partnership with other nonprofits including Boys and Girls Club of Steamboat Springs, Horizons Specialized Services,  STARS, Partners of Routt County and area schools.

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

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