Hot Springs Resort Events and History
The Springs Hot Spring Resort has a long history in Pagosa Springs and a long history of hosting and holding grand events for locals and visitors alike. From car and dog shows to the Pints and Pools Party of last weekend there is something for everyone and lots of fun. The following is their latest special for visitors and a brief history of the resort.
Party photos by Jacque Aragon.
Spring into Spring
at The Springs Resort!
The Springs Resort & Spa is offering an amazing deal on your
2-night stay! Save 50% on your second night when you book two consecutive nights Sunday through Wednesday, through May 10th.
Enjoy a much needed getaway and relax in our
23 iconic hot springs soaking tubs.
50% Off 2nd Night!
2-Night Stay for 2 People
Pricing through May 10th, 2017
24-Hour Access to Hot Springs
23 Therapeutic Soaking Tubs
*Only applies to mid-week stays (Su-Wed) through 5/10/2017. Blackout dates apply.
May not be combined with other offers. New reservations only. Taxes and fees apply.
Book any 60-minute treatment at the Pahgosa Spa and you will be upgraded to a 90-minute treatment all month long!
April 26th is Admin. Professionals Day
Remind your staff, co-workers, or loved ones how much you appreciate them, #shoplocal and get them a Pahgosa Spa gift card!
The following is a history of the Springs Resort
over the last century.
Your writer often researches the history of the area in an effort to bring memories and images from the past in order to inform newer and younger citizens and to strength traditions. I have various sources of information including written and a list of people I can go to for first hand accounts. When I thought about doing the following article I realized that I was the source I needed to go to. In the 1980s I published The San Juan Adventure Guide Magazine. The Springs Resort purchased the back page advertisement space for many years including more information inside the magazine. As a result I did photography and artwork as Matt Mees and Bill Dawson developed their facility. Some of the images below are from The Adventure Guide and were printed on newsprint paper.
Your writer and son, Ian Vance in the Hippy Dip. Ian later worked at the Springs facility as have many other of Pagosa Springs’ young people. He now teaches school in Los Alamos, M.N.A quarter century ago or so Pagosa’s hot spring was under utilized by locals, businesses and tourists alike. The entire area south of the intersection was different than now. There was no post office, Best Western, bank, Town Hall etc. The Spa Motel had its pool and across the street was a open topped wooden structure with four plastic home type hot tubs. Out in the field, on the hot springs property, was a simple railroad tie lined hole in the ground fed by a small hot springs vent. This was known as the “Hippy Dip.”
At that time no one could remember when this little pool wasn’t there. During early settlement it is said that every family in the area had a pool of their own with some enclosed and others open. Sundays, after church, was weekly bath time and certainly a time of great community bonding. The Hippy Dip was likely the last of these previous pools.
The people using the dip knew it was the number one hot spring access and Pagosa’s number one tourists draw. Such was the state of Pagosa tourism at the time! People came to it day and night and, because the property owners were nonresidents, it was free for all and with no rules. It was, for the most part, hidden from view from town and nude bathing was accepted. The police didn’t show up without a specific complaint and no one seemed to care what went on until the murder there in 1988. That closed the pool forever.
At about this time the Pagosa Garden Club formed wanting to beautify town by planting a few flower beds. The town was rather drab with a color scheme of “brown on brown” as Chamber Manager, Bob Hand, once described it. The Garden Club took up the challenge of working on the triangle of land at the end of the parking area across from main street. At the time it consisted of a five foot high pile of asphalt, trash and dirt built up from years of the town clearing the parking area. The club started on the project and soon Bob Hand and the Chamber took over.
Your writer had been a user of the Hippy Dip and the only male member of the Garden Club. I had the tiller! I saw a need for better municipal hot spring access. It seemed a natural for the Garden Club to back such a project. The idea put forward, with a few drawings printed in the Adventure Guide, was to use the property along the river now the “Dr. Mary Fisher Park.” Three pools of mineral water were shown in the drawings along with flower beds and small changing rooms. Soon enough Bob Hand and the Chamber wanted to take over this project also. With town permission they moved the notion forward with a considerably more grandiose design. They wanted to put the facility on the open field across Hermosa Street from Town Park. The committee divided into two factions. One faction wanted a smaller and more peaceful facility while Hand and friends wanted an Olympic size pool with all the trimmings. The town people did not want it and did not believe a hot spring facility would be successful. They did a petition, won an election and turned the project down.
On an otherwise calm morning a growl was heard along main street. Those of us interested enough to look down on the river saw Matt Mees perched on a Caterpillar moving large amounts of dirt and stone around in the river. In Colorado property owners own to the center of a river and Matt was changing his half. The roar continued and before the Pagosa naysayers had their naysay, Matt was done!
He had created a large pond on what had been just a wide place in the river. The wide place was always unsightly as it tended to collect all the trash and driftwood moving down river and seemed to be a dark hole in town. Few people went there or to the river at that time.
In The Adventure Guide I often referred to Matt as “the engineer and artist of the hot spring.” He told me just before he began that he wanted the place to look like “the Anasazi built it and we are just using it.” He did well except for better masonry work!
On a sunny summer day, standing on the overlook deck, in one panoramic view, one can observe fishing, tubing, rafting and kayaking, but also people scampering across boulders in the river, playing river fetch with dogs, bathers migrating from hot spring pools to the river and back, and folks strolling along the River Walk. The flowers and bright paint along main street and at The Springs Resort are lovely. The river and the springs gleam in the sunlight, and the forest Pagosa is built in is pure green. A tourist once walked from her car to the deck, did a 360 degree pan of the view and gasped, “This must be the most beautiful town in Colorado!” I thought about the way Pagosa was when I moved here and about all of the work so many people contributed over the years. I thought of the successes and the failures, the joy and the pain of civic work. I walked down behind a restaurant’s dumpster and had a very private moment.
Pagosa Springs is a beautiful town. From all of us who worked on the town last century, you are welcome!
See this image expanded here.