Old Town Hot Springs to break ground on expansion project | SteamboatToday.com

Old Town Hot Springs to break ground on expansion project

A rendering shows what the Old Town Hot Springs will look like when a 15,000-square-foot expansion project is completed.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It will be business as usual for Old Town Hot Springs even after the first shovels break ground on a new 15,000-square-foot expansion project that promises to take the fitness center to the next level.

"We will assure that people can access the building in a safe way, and that people know that we are open," said Old Town Hot Springs Executive Director Stephanie Orozco. "That's a huge message — that we will be open throughout the construction — especially for our visitors."

The building addition and renovation will nearly double the facility’s current fitness space and add a second classroom for fitness classes and training programs. There will also be an indoor walking track installed to provide a safe space for walking year round.

Other additions will include an indoor, two-story climbing wall, a conference room that can be used for educational programs and a kitchen that will allow the Old Town Hot Springs to offer instructional classes on nutrition with food preparation education.

The project will also update the exterior of the building, which faces Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs.

"There is going to be some impact," Orozco said. "I think in general our members, and guests, are fairly accustomed to us doing expansions like this throughout the years."

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She said Old Town Hot Springs visitors and members should expect a few changes in the next few months while construction underway but she said efforts are being taken to mitigate those impacts and any temporary inconveniences will be worth it when the project is done.

The project will break ground on April 2 with most of the initial work confined to the front parking lot where the building will be taking shape and new water and sewer lines will be installed. By June, people can expect to see steel beams going up, and the exterior of the building should be nearly completed by the time the snow starts to fly next winter.

Construction of the new building will be handled locally by HLCC and Bill Rangitsch, who represents Steamboat Architectural Associates.

"They are locals, members and professionals with open campus situations like ours," Orozco said. "That is why we chose them."

One of the most noticeable impacts of construction, besides the remodeling of the current fitness area, will be the loss of some of the parking in the main and upper lots. Orozco said a new parking lot at the corner of Third and Oak streets was built last year in anticipation of the upcoming construction. There is also additional parking just off of Old Fish Creek Falls Road directly behind the facility.

"The parking lot where the tennis courts were is not even 10 percent occupied, so we have plenty of parking there," Orozco said. "Plus, in the summer, kids and adults alike use a lot of bikes, so we will have additional bike racks set up in the new parking lot as well.”

The project is scheduled for completion in early 2019.

"We knew that this was the best time of the year to pull the trigger on this — not just in terms of weather but in terms of usage in the facility in certain areas,” Orozco explained. “We know that our members and those who are visiting here absolutely count on us for the amenities we have in place whether it's child care, spin, Pilates or yoga, and we are going to do our very best to come up with some pretty creative solutions to make sure that we can still provide those benefits."

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

Fundraising campaign halfway to $6M goal

Even as construction begins on an addition that will nearly double the size of the existing Old Town Hot Springs swim and fitness facility in downtown Steamboat Springs, the capital campaign to raise the money needed to complete the job is halfway to goal.

Pat Carney, OTHS project manager, said phase one of the expansion project is estimated to cost around $6 million, and so far $3 million has been raised. 

Carney, who worked as executive director at the Old Town Hot Springs for 40 years before taking her current fundraising position, is confident the nonprofit organization will be able to raise the additional money needed to fund the expansion.

“We feel pretty optimistic that we can make up some more money in the next few months once the construction starts and people believe that it’s really going to be so cool and really going to happen,” Carney said.

As current fundraising efforts move forward, Carney said the strategy will shift from approaching large donors, which she has been doing since July, to looking for more support from the grassroots level.

One of the options being discussed is selling commemorative bricks with donors’ names on them that will be placed near the entrance of the new facility.

Anyone who is interested in donating to the campaign or purchasing a paver can contact Carney at 970-457-1198.