Ouray Hot Springs Pool has existed, in some form, since the early 1800s. Even before the discovery of gold and silver in the San Juan Mountains, Southern Utes extoled the virtues of Ouray’s geothermal waters. Since 1927, the facility has been instantly recognizable for its distinct oval shape surrounded by the majestic San Juan Mountains. Despite the Ouray Hot Springs Pool’s popularity, the facility has not been upgraded in quite some time and is showing signs of nearly a century of use. In the fall of 2012, the City of Ouray organized a committee of community members to begin investigating the feasibility of repairs and renovations to the beloved Hot Springs. In August of 2015, the Ouray City Council weighed the various plans and options and approved a master plan for the Pool. Renovations will begin on September 6, 2016, with a complete closure of the Hot Springs facility (gym facilities are anticipated to remain open). The Hot Springs facility is anticipated to reopen in May 2017.
During an August 2015 update, it was determined that reconstruction of the Bathhouse building was not feasible within the September-May timeframe. Ouray City Council agreed that the highest priority renovation was to complete the pool facilities. The elements contemplated in this phase of the project will focus on improved pools and improving infrastructure for maintaining consistent temperatures. The new Bathhouse is contemplated to begin construction in fall 2017.
The facility will retain its historic oval shape, but the pool will be redesigned to accommodate more deck space, additional pools, added features like a climbing wall and new slide, and will incorporate boulders and landscaping to create a more natural atmosphere.
The renovations proposed include many new features. Plans include the construction of smaller soaking pools. These smaller pools are designed to offer a quiet area for visitors.
As Ouray Hot Springs Pool is geared to families and fun, reconstruction plans include a rock climbing wall. The wall will be slanted so it hangs slightly over the pool. The Wall is planned to be constructed in the currently underutilized deep section and offer fun for kids and adults alike.
The Master Plan also includes a new and improved waterslide feature. Boulders and native plant species will enhance the natural feel of the waterslide.
Not all features are proposed to be completed in Phase 1. In order to allow the pool to reopen as quickly as possible, the project has been divided up into phases.
Construction Updates and further information on the Ouray Hot Springs Pool and Fitness Center Master Plan can be accessed via the City of Ouray’s website: http://ourayhotsprings.com/renovation-project/#tab-id-2.
Construction updates will also be posted on the Ouray Hot Springs Pool Construction Updates Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Ouray-Hot-Springs-Pool-Construction-Updates-180661378934142/.
With the City Pool closing for renovations, there are still a plethora of other activities to enjoy in Ouray County. A scenic drive, or breathtaking hike are always wonderful, and soon the Fall colors will be in full bloom, which will make the scenery even more spectacular. There is horseback riding, canyoning and a number of four wheel drive roads to explore over the next couple of months, and soon enough, the ice will be calling as winter sports begin. Some amazing restaurants offer a variety of decadent treats, and one can spend hours perusing the shops on Main Street.