The new owners of Durango Hot Springs Resort and Spa plan to unveil improvements at the 150-year-old resort, formerly known as Trimble Hot Springs, on the Fourth of July weekend.
By Independence Day, Dan Carter, his son, Ken Carter, and Brian Yearout hope to open the new pool – which has a capacity of 90,000 gallons compared with the 250,000-gallon old pool – and three soaking pools.
The grand opening will comply with social-distancing and other health measures to deal with COVID-19. The scheduled opening depends on efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The three soaking pools will tap the hot springs that supplied Trimble’s pair of old soaking pools.
The grand opening will present a hint of planned improvements; the owners hope to install 22 geothermal soaking pools, featuring cascading water traveling from one pool to the next on the west slope overlooking the resort. The pools will wind to a private club at the north end of the grounds.
The old chlorine swimming pool will be converted to a salt pool. Dan Carter said the pool will include a 25-meter section for lap swimmers that includes LED lane dividers on the pool’s bottom.
In addition, the pool and several soaking pools will use the Aquagen Hyperdissolved Oxygen System to provide a boost of micro-oxygen bubbles in the water.
While the large pool will not tap geothermal springs, it will use geothermal heat, and by dropping 160,000 gallons in capacity, it can be heated year-round, which was not feasible with the older pool, which leaked and structurally failed.
Although only three soaking pools are anticipated to be completed by July, Yearout said the owners plan to invest $10 million in the resort over five years. When finished, the resort and spa will have 22 pools with temperatures ranging from 98 to 110 degrees. The facility also plans to have a cold-plunge pool next to the lobster pot, its hottest pool.
“We’ll gradually add pools as we can. We still need county approval for some of the plans, but the idea is to become among the premier soaking facilities in the country,” Yearout said.
Many of the soaking pools will be built on the western hillside overlooking the property. Several Japanese ofuro tubs will be available for soakers, and others will be placed in private rental facilities such as the remodeled Guest House and Starlight Room.
The members-only Trimble Hot Springs Club, at the resort’s north end, will have a series of soaking pools and a fire pit. The club’s name was chosen to honor the facility’s history, which in the 1950s was the stomping grounds for Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and other Hollywood stars when the area was a popular location for Western films.
“There was some planning behind this. We talked to users, pass holders, we talked to people who had been here regularly and stopped and hadn’t been here in 20 years. We listened to why they stopped coming, and that guided our plans,” Yearout said.
A variety of ticket prices are anticipated, including daily tickets priced at $20 for adults, $12 for children ages 4 to 15 and $3 for 3-year-olds and younger. A 10% discount will be offered to anyone 62 years of age and older and to members of the armed services.
In addition, the resort plans a $699 annual adult pass, $499 seasonal adult pass, $99 annual child pass and a $49 seasonal child pass.
A 10-soak transferable pass good for 10 days within four months of purchase will be offered for $175.
Membership in the Trimble Hot Springs Club will be separate.
Yearout said the hot springs was a neglected gem in La Plata County’s tourism sector, and unlike skiing, rafting and the train, can operate year-round.
“Our plan is to make this so nice you can’t go to Durango without coming here,” Dan Carter said. “We want to be like the train. You won’t be able come to Durango without visiting the hot springs, it will be that nice.”