Glenwood’s ‘hot pots’ now officially off-limits
GLENWOOD SPRINGS Glenwood Springs police recently issued trespassing citations to three people who were soaking in the “hot pots” in the Colorado River.The hot pots, along the riverbank near the Interstate 70 interchange, have been officially off-limits for about two weeks. The city, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Hot Springs Lodge and Pool decided to post no trespassing signs to deter people. The hot pots are on CDOT’s right of way, Police Chief Terry Wilson said.”Like most private-property issues, you have to be empowered or enjoined by the private property owner to take enforcement,” Wilson said. “CDOT in cooperation with the Hot Springs Pool and the city have been talking together about it for quite some time, and this is kind of a first step.”Mark Allen Marler, 54, Roger Howe Jr., 48, and Charles Leroy Norton, 53, were the first people to receive trespassing tickets there, at about 10:45 p.m. on July 18.The area has seen a lot of criminal activity and problems over the years.”We’ve had sexual assaults,” Wilson said. “We’ve had overdose deaths. We’ve had juvenile drinking on a routine basis.”In August of last year, one man was last seen at the hot pots before being found dead downriver from the hot pots. That same month, a group of eight to 10 men reportedly attacked another man, inflicting several injuries to his head.There have also been numerous situations where police and emergency response personnel have brought people up from the hot pots via gurneys and ropes because they were too intoxicated to climb out, Wilson said.”Not only that, it’s not healthy,” he said. “Years ago the output water was tested. It didn’t exactly come back as something you’d want to plunk down in your bathtub and take a relaxing sauna in.”Outflow water from the Hot Springs Pool connects with a storm drain pipeline, from which used water flows into the river near the hot pots, Wilson said.”I’m not getting in,” he said.In an April 2 letter to the editor in response to a Post Independent editorial, Kjell Mitchell, general manager of the Hot Springs Pool, also criticized the hot pots for using less-than-pristine water and for being dangerous.”This body of water is a discharge of our pool water after leaving our facilities along with some drainage from Sixth Street,” it says. “I let your imagination tell you what street drainage might include.”Wilson hopes something could eventually be done to change the drainage flow, removing the hot pots altogether. But no trespassing signs and permission from CDOT and the city to enforce them are more immediate measures that will allow police to patrol the hot pots and prevent some of the problems, he said.
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Warm and dry conditions to start the winter have kept all but the higher elevation slopes free of snow. That is expected to change by the end of the week and the avalanche hazard could start to climb, according to Colorado Avalanche Information Center.