Seasonal rates make a splash

The Hot Springs Pool has raised its daily rates, and introduced a seasonal pricing structure with higher rates for the summer, and lower rates for the fall, winter and spring.

We could say the pool is soaking summer tourists, except that many tourist businesses follow the same practice.

Sunlight Mountain Resort, for example, offers discounted lift tickets for the first few weeks of winter and for the last week or two of spring skiing. Hotels charge more in the summer and on peak winter weekends, and offer deals for off-season weekdays.

While we all like to see prices stay low for popular activities, a private business like the Hot Springs Pool has every right to test its market with a higher admission price.

That the pool owners recognized a seasonal difference is a credit to them.

The $11 value rate for adults and teens, compared to the $13 peak rate charged in the summer months, encourages tourists to visit Glenwood Springs during the slower months when hotels and restaurants aren’t already full.

The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association has worked for years to boost tourism on weekdays and in the off seasons; the new pool pricing complements that effort.

Meanwhile, no one can argue that the pool is soaking locals.

Rates for annual swim passes for individuals, couples and families will remain the same. Passholders break even if they swim just twice a month – and it’s an easy way to offset home energy bills for showers!

The Hot Springs Pool is what put Glenwood Springs on the map back in the 1880s. It remains the anchor for all the other great tourist activities enjoyed by visitors and locals: hiking, biking, fishing, caving and whitewater rafting.

The new pricing structure may make some visitors wince. But as long as the pool maintains its high standard of cleanliness, safety and an atmosphere of good, clean fun, the new pricing structure seems fair.

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