Stephanie Orozco and Pat Carney: OTHS committed to serving community
August 15, 2017
Three issues keep being raised about Old Town Hot Springs: location, affordability and crowds.
We understand OTHS is in a busy area of town. And while you can't choose where a natural hot spring occurs, we think the location of OTHS, in the heart of downtown — within walking distance from the schools, Howelsen Hill, shopping and the downtown neighborhoods — is one of our best attributes. It is easy to bike to, walk to or take the bus making it accessible to the community.
That said, we realize there is congestion and are working with the city and CDOT to mitigate it as much as possible. One way is with added parking. Sixty-nine new parking spaces are now open where the tennis courts used to be, with easy access to the facility via a pedestrian underpass bringing the total number of spots to 200.
OTHS is a 501© 3 and receives no tax money. OTHS must generate enough revenue to cover all expenses and set aside reserves for improvements.
The staff has always worked hard to keep expenses down and prices affordable. We monitor what other ski town rec centers charge and try to keep our prices in line. A yearly family membership for two adults and all dependents at OTHS is $999.
The same membership is $1,180 in Aspen, $1,000 in Avon, $991 in Silverthorne and $1,269 at the Breckenridge Rec Center for 2 adults and 2 kids (additional youth are $242 each). Residents in these communities pay membership fees on top of a portion of their property taxes used to fund these facilities. In Steamboat, this double pay does not exist.
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As the community grows and tourism increases, crowding during busy times of the year and day is often a complaint. Crowds go hand-in-hand with affordability. An affordable facility attracts more people, and we reject the idea we should reduce crowds by raising prices.
Instead, we are aggressively pursuing an expansion project to provide more space and value to our members, guests and community. A 15,000-square-foot addition to the building and a renovation of the lap pool area are planned for the next few years. A capital campaign has been launched to aid this effort. There is no plan to raise membership dues to pay for this expansion.
We are always open to ideas or suggestions on how to better serve this community and provide the best experience for locals and guests.
Please always feel free to contact us.
Old Town Hot Springs executive director
Old Town Hot Springs project manager