After months of planning, construction and testing, the new aquatic features at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort opened mid-summer for adventurers of all ages. The highly anticipated Sopris Splash Zone is the family-friendly resort’s newest addition to the hot springs, spa and lodge property in Glenwood Springs. It features a fast-moving adventure river for older kids and adults, and for younger children, a wade-in pool with waterfalls and a fountain designed for both play and show!
The wait is finally over! After months of watching construction crews build, refine and add landscaping, Shoshone Chutes—the exciting river ride that twists and turns, banks and swooshes, mimicking the thrill of a Colorado whitewater experience—is officially open. It is one of three new family-friendly play areas that comprise the Sopris Splash Zone at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort.
In addition to Shoshone Chutes, the other two zones are Hanging Lake, a wade-in waterfall-fed pool perfect for youngsters, which opened on July 3, and the Grand Fountain, a splash pad by day with water spraying seven feet in the air and an illuminated show fountain reaching heights of 17 feet after hours. A large, modern pergola with seating separates the two zones and provides additional shade at the west end of the hot springs property.
“We’re like little kids ourselves,” Chief Operations Officer and Vice President for Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, John Bosco, said. “We have been anticipating this opening just like everyone else—waiting, watching, seeing the progress day-by-day. It’s finally time to let people experience it for themselves. The Sopris Splash Zone will add a whole new dimension to what you can do at our hot springs. It’s a game-changer.”
Though construction started in January, the new aquatic features have been in the works for close to two years. The goal was to create water-centric attractions that appeal to today’s traveler, as well as fit the historic setting of the geothermal springs. Two consulting firms, along with local contractors, made it all come together.
Specializing in landscape architecture, urban planning and design, DHM Design, led by Project Manager Jen DiCuollo, created a masterplan to reflect Glenwood Hot Springs’ core identity which centers on the resort’s history of welcoming families and building multi-generational relationships. The firm was tasked with designing elements to enhance activities for children and families while maintaining a uniquely Colorado experience.
Working closely alongside DHM Design was Cloward H20’s Principal Allen Clawson and his team, who specialize in creating award-winning aquatics at resorts worldwide. Based on experience with similar river features at Atlantis Resorts and others in Asia, Cloward proposed a whitewater river experience as Glenwood Hot Springs’ newest visitor attraction. “Shoshone Chutes takes advantage of the slope in the North West corner of the property,” Clawson said. “This is a thrilling and exhilarating experience for a broad range of guests who will be able to ride on either single or double tubes along a waterway with as much as 32,000 gallons per minute of flow—that’s enough to fill an Olympic-sized pool in 15 minutes!”
Glenwood Hot Springs relied on talented local contractors, including S2M Construction, Gould Construction and Zancanella Engineering to carry out the design vision and get the Sopris Splash Zone ready for opening day. “We had an amazing team working on this project,” Glenwood Hot Springs Operations Manager Kevin Flohr said. “One of the things that surprised me was how much the adventure river sounds like actual whitewater. I can’t wait to see what people think the first time they ride down the Shoshone Chutes.”
“The Sopris Splash Zone is what Glenwood Hot Springs envisioned—a family-friendly resort experience with modern features that uniquely represent the Rocky Mountain West and complement our 130 years of rich history rooted in an authentic European hot springs spa tradition,” said Kjell Mitchell, Glenwood Hot Springs President and Chief Executive Officer.
The Sopris Splash Zone is now open daily through the summer and on weekends in September and October as weather permits. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is no additional fee to use the new attractions in the Sopris Splash Zone. A grand opening celebration will be announced.
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