It's quite a view from the Elliptical Machine!

Fitness Center Open House

On the weekend of November 4th-5th, we hosted an open house at the fitness center. We decided to hold it the weekend of the fall time change and encouraged folks to “fall back” into healthy habits (couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make a pun). Staff gathered both nights to offer healthy snacks, information on the history of the pool, and demonstrate how to properly use the gym equipment. We also asked attendees to fill out a satisfaction survey, and had a free drawing for a gym membership and gift certificates at Ouray Mountain Sports.

The survey results were gratifying — the majority of members rated our cleanliness as ‘good’ or ‘excellent.’ We received positive feedback regarding our low prices and the types of equipment we offer. Survey respondents said, “I love the quality and affordability of the facility” and “great thing to have in town!”

Several survey respondents suggested that we should offer programs – classes on nutrition, yoga, age-specific strength training, and more. Others are looking for opportunities to develop exercise buddies – either through walking/hiking groups, competitions, and theme nights (does anyone remember how to jazzercise?). We appreciate the suggestions for new equipment to purchase, as well as the request for a designated space for stretching. While the Hot Springs Pool Renovation Project is a top priority, we want to continue to offer a modern, clean, and affordable space for people to work out.

The time change gave us an “extra” hour (and much shorter evenings) and we encourage members and non-members alike to use that hour for exercise! As it gets colder (and darker), the fitness center is a great spot to work out comfortably. And the health benefits aren’t just physical – exercise can help improve your mood, which is especially important as we have less sunlight at this time of year. We offer cardio and strength training equipment, as well as a “Treadwall.” At the beginning of this month, we now offer a six-month “Renovation Gym Pass.” It costs $100 and will be valid through May 26, 2017. The fitness center is open to members with key cards (an additional $5 fee when purchasing a Renovation Gym Pass) from 5am until 9pm, and from 10am until 6pm for folks who want to purchase a day pass.

Lifeguard Jeramy Harthan discusses different ways to stay active while the pool is closed.

Staff and gym members discuss different ways to stay active while the pool is closed.

Article Written By Nicole Gans (Lead Cashier)

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WHERE DOES OUR WATER COME FROM?

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Have you ever wondered how water gets to the Ouray Hot Springs Pool?

Many of you have asked, “Where does the water come from for the Ouray Hot Springs Pool?” Curious about how we manage the temperatures and why we don’t have the signature sulfur smell that other hot springs have? “What is the temperature before it comes to the pool? Do you add chlorine to the water? Why doesn’t it smell?” In this month’s blog we will give you some information about all of this. The hot springs water in Ouray starts as rainfall on the surrounding peaks. This water percolates deep into the earth, starts to heat up geothermally and picks up minerals along the way. When it encounters a major fault, like that in Box Canon Falls Park, it finds a quick way back to the surface, retaining its heat and minerals. The rotten egg smell is caused by hydrogen sulfide. Sulfur itself doesn’t have an unpleasant smell but anaerobic bacteria deep in the earth convert sulfur into hydrogen sulfide and it emerges with that unmistakable stink.  Ouray’s water doesn’t reach the depth where this happens so you get all the health benefits of dissolved sulfur without the smell.

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  1. Box Canon Line- This is our main hot water source. The Box Canon Line originates at the Box Canon Falls on the southwest side of town and this line was the sole source from the 1920s until the 1980s. While the water flows vary throughout the seasons, the water temperature is a consistent 145-150 degrees at the source. The Box Canon line consists of two major and one minor spring originating in Cañon Creek Gorge approximately 100 yards below Box Cañon Falls.  The source furthest upstream on the east side is behind a cemented portal of an old mine. The next major spring is on the west side of Cañon Creek approximately 200 feet downstream of the portal and is encased in a concrete vault.

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2.  OX2 Line- This is our secondary water source. This line originates behind the baseball field in Fellin Park. This line typically flows at a temperature of 120 degrees. In the 1980s this supplemental water from well OX-2 in the ballpark became available. The energy from the Pool Line Springs is insufficient to heat the pool in winter months, and until the drilling of OX-2, the pool was operated seasonally. Since the 1980’s the pool has been operational year-round.

 

 

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3.  Ball Park Line- This is a supplementary line that is fed from the underground aquifer in the park into the Box Canon Line line before it reaches the pool. The Ball Park Spring source is from the east hillside in the vicinity of 10th Avenue and Main Street and is currently being added to other sources that flow into the pool. Flow and temperature vary seasonally, but the temps flow approximately 94-106°F.

 

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Pre Filter Vault

These three water sources converge together at the pre-filter vault located just outside the pool fence near the fish pond (fenced area with the two white structures). The pre-filter vault is the first point at which we begin to treat the water before it enters the pool. There are two main areas within the pre-filter vault:

 

 

  1. Mixing Vault– This is where all three sources combine for the first time. The average temperature of all three lines coming into the mixing vault is 120-130 degrees at a rate of 200-300 GPM. Due to high manganese and iron concentrations within the natural mineral water, we pre-treat the water with liquid chlorine (if we did not do this, the pool water would turn a rusty brown color ((Iron Oxide)).
  2. Pump Vault– Once the water is mixed and treated with chlorine, the water is pulled from the mixing vault into the pump vault. Inside the pump vault is our main motor and pump for the entire pool. This motor and pump run 24 hours a day, seven days a week pumping water through our filtration system and then out to the pool.

 

Stay tuned for more information on how the pool operates as well as what changes are in store during the Renovation Project. Please let us know what questions you have about the past, present, and future of the Ouray Hot Springs Pool!

Article Written By Debbie Senft (Lead Cashier)

 

 

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2016 Groundbreaking Event

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Pool Renovation Project Groundbreaking Ceremony

On October 10th members of our community joined together to break ground on the historic Ouray Hot Springs Pool Renovation Project. Pool staff, city officials, volunteers and community members celebrated yet another change to one of our city’s most important assets. County Commissioners, City Council Members and Pool Staff spoke about the history of the Hot Springs and the many changes that have taken place over time. It wasn’t that long ago that our pool wasn’t even open during winter! “We’ve come a long way to have the pool open year round,” noted Mayor Pam Larson.

City Resources Manager Rick Noll reflected on the history of the pool, including his own experiences. “I first visited the pool 50 years ago with my Mom and Dad. I brought my children here when they were young, and my young grandchildren have enjoyed soaking in these Hot Springs also.” Attendees were also able to “take a swing” at the concrete bottom of the pool, and took home pieces as keepsakes. 

For almost 90 years, the Ouray Hot Springs Pool has been a welcoming community pool where people from across the state (and even the world!) enjoy fun, safe, and healthy recreation. Over time, the pool has been to show its age. The City of Ouray organized a citizens’ committee in 2012 to make research-based recommendations on how to improve the Ouray Hot Springs Pool and Fitness Center Facility. The Ouray City Council adopted the final master plan design in 2015. Visit http://ourayhotsprings.com/renovation-project/ to view the detailed document.
 
The Renovation Project will address multiple issues, many of which are “behind the scenes” and not obvious to soakers, such as structural and filtration challenges. This Project will also create beautiful new soaking areas with completion expected in Summer 2017. Funding for the project is provided by a local bond initiative, grants from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and Great Outdoors Colorado and an ongoing capital campaign. 

 Check out a video of the groundbreaking ceremony here!
 
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Pool Closed for Renovations

Ouray Hot SpringsThe Ouray Hot Springs Pool & Fitness Center staff and volunteers would like to thank everyone for your support as we embark on our historic renovation project. We appreciate your patience while the pool is closed. We will be working hard to keep you informed as we move forward. We’ll do this a few different ways.

Visit our website (www.ourayhotsprings.com) to find out more information about the renovation project. Included will be a live streaming webcam, new blog post entries, photos and videos depicting the construction process. The website will also feature ways to give your input, donate money, and sign up for updates and our monthly newsletter.

If you are on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – we are, too! Look us up and follow our accounts to get real-time updates. We will be holding contests with prizes like one-day, ten-day, and twenty-day punch passes. Photos from throughout the decades will be shared, and we would love to see yours!

During the renovation project the fitness center will remain open! Members will have access from from 5am until 9pm. If you are not a member and want to workout the cost is $12 per day and the hours are from 10am until 6pm. You can still purchase fitness center memberships during the renovation project.

The renovation of the Ouray Hot Springs Pool has taken years of hard work and compromise to plan and implement. We appreciate your continued patience and support. Together we will create a new chapter in the story of the Ouray Hot Springs Pool!