Hot Springs Pool: Issues raised by whitewater park aren’t new |

Hot Springs Pool: Issues raised by whitewater park aren’t new

Greg Masse
Glenwood Springs Correspondent

The Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge and Pool’s opposition to plans for a whitewater park in the nearby Colorado River should come as no surprise, according to its attorney.

The Hot Springs Lodge and Pool made its position clear to members of the Whitewater Park Committee months ago, according to attorney Scott Balcomb.

Balcomb on Friday was reacting to members of the committee who said the pool’s threat to sue the city seems to have come out of nowhere.

Members of the Whitewater Park Committee said they first heard about the pool’s threats of legal action on Wednesday. Two of its members spoke to the Glenwood Springs City Council on Thursday, saying they were surprised to hear that the pool had threatened legal action against the city.

But Balcomb claims it shouldn’t have come as any surprise. “The pool has consistently and actively made its concerns clear,” he said.

He said the first time this issue came up was when the city proposed burying a raw water line beneath the bed of the Colorado River, about 10 years ago.

“So this is not a new thing on the part of the pool, and there’s no backstabbing or hidden agendas,” he said.

Balcomb explained that if there is construction on the river bottom, the delicate aquifer that feeds the pool its hot mineral water could be punctured and the damage could be irreversible.

“We don’t know exactly where it is, but if you drill a well you’ll start to encounter hot water at six feet,” Balcomb said. “The bottom line is it’s limited and it’s fragile and people should take care not to ruin it.”

Balcomb also claims he told Whitewater Park Committee members that if an alternative spot were chosen, the pool would not only support the idea, but it would contribute money to the project. He recommended putting the park either at the horseshoe bend upstream from the city, or downstream from the aquifer near the Midland Avenue bridge that crosses the river.

“We’re not against whitewater parks, but we think the city needs to be extremely careful to not damage the aquifer,” he said.

Greg Masse’s e-mail address is

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