Hot Springs Lodge gets $500,000 remodel
Post Independent Staff
The 17-year-old Hot Springs Lodge is undergoing a $500,000 remodel project that will add two new suites, a conference room, and a business center where guests can use fax machines and copiers.
“We’re trying to bring in more conferences and small groups, especially in the middle of the week,” said Hot Springs Lodge and Pool general manager Kjell Mitchell.
Dawn McNeal is the lodge’s first ever sales director. She is looking forward to booking the two-bedroom suites and attracting church groups.
“It’s exciting, and so far it’s been going great,” said McNeal, who was previously the lodge’s front desk supervisor. “I’m trying to get our name out there more.”
The third-floor suites look down on the Hot Springs Pool, and across the Colorado River to the Amtrak depot. One suite features a hot tub and small balcony.
The lodge remodeling project also includes additional office and storage space, and a training room. The extra space was created by enclosing outdoor alcoves on each side of the lodge’s entrance that formerly housed a hot tub and patio.
“When we started giving pool passes to guests, we decided we didn’t need the hot tub anymore,” Mitchell said.
Work crews are also expanding the entrance area and adding automatic doors, and extending a ramp for wheelchairs and luggage carts.
Diemoz Construction is the general contractor.
Mitchell said the project will be complete in April or May.
Across the street at the Hot Springs Pool’s east parking lot, visitors have been marveling at a deep, steamy trench dug alongside the original Yampah Hot Springs, the 122-degree source spring that feeds the pool.
Hot Springs Pool workers dug the trench to replace a crumbling drainage pipe that diverts spring water into the Colorado River.
By Tuesday, workers covered the 30-foot trench and started to prepare the ground for new sod.
“This project sort of ballooned on us,” Mitchell said as he inspected the construction site.
Nearby, lucky visitors found prime parking places in spaces that were roped off with construction tape just minutes before.
Mitchell said pool crews discovered the catch basin, located between the Yampah Hot Spring and the pool’s east parking lot, needed extensive repair.
“So we built a new box,” Mitchell said, referring to the concrete catch basin that feeds the new drainage pipe.
If the project’s extra work was an unwelcome expense, it also led to an interesting surprise.
During excavation, workers uncovered a few red sandstone rocks used for a water diversion wall that Mitchell believes was used in the pool’s original construction in 1888.
But in the intervening years, a layer of concrete was poured atop the rocks, and it was stuck to the rocks when they were exposed. Crews removed the conglomerate in this latest round of excavation.
It will probably be a while before anyone goes digging around the new catch basin again.
“This new box should work far into the future,” Mitchell said. “It’s much more substantial.”
Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534
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