Don’t pull the plug on the hot pots
A Glenwood Springs landmark is in danger of being demolished.No, it’s not one of the many historical buildings in the area, and it’s not our most famous landmark of all, the Hot Springs Lodge & Pool. Rather, it’s the Hot Springs’ poor sibling – the hot pots on the Colorado River.At a Glenwood Springs City Council meeting earlier this month, Council discussed doing away with the hot pots near the Interstate 70 interchange due to safety concerns.This would be a mistake. Glenwood Springs was – at least in part – built on its hot springs. The tradition of soaking in the natural, soothing springs dates back further than the city itself. And, while the Hot Springs Lodge & Pool is a wonderful amenity for the area, many soakers prefer the less polished and free experience of the hot pots.The other question is: Would dismantling the hot pots would solve the problem? The hot pots in South Canyon area have a long history of being repeatedly deconstructed, only to pop back up again. Being rebuilt by determined users. It’s likely the same would happen with the Glenwood hot pots. As Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said in an October 2006 article, “It’s pretty amazing how industrious some folks get when they find something like that closed off.”The other option for displaced soakers would be to simply move to a different spring. There is no shortage of hot water along the Colorado River banks, and the same problems that now exist at the Glenwood hot pots would likely follow soakers to a new location.Wilson has long been a proponent of shutting down the hot pots and, as the police chief, his concerns are valid.The hot pots have long been a hot spot for accidents and criminal activity. In August of last year one man was last seen at the hot pots before being found dead downriver from the hot pots. In the same month, another man was reportedly attacked by a group of eight to 10 men, sustaining several injuries to the head.It’s up to the community of soakers to do a better job of policing themselves if the Glenwood hot pots are to remain open in their current form. This includes not only making sure the area is safe from the criminal aspect, but safe in terms of cleanliness. The local law enforcement can be asked to do only so much, and it’s their job to push to have areas of high criminal activity shut down.So it’s the responsibility of those who use the hot pots most to make sure they aren’t dismantled.It’s part of Glenwood’s history and, hopefully, it will remain part of its future.
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