Some small towns rely on hot springs during winter


OURAY — Colorado is home to more than 30 hot springs areas. Some small mountain communities rely on the springs for tourism dollars.

The city of Ouray in southwest Colorado welcomes 300,000 visitors each year. Out of that number, it's estimated just under 200,000 people explore the area’s 5 hot springs locations.

"People from the Front Range, people from all over the country come out here,” explained Josh Vincent, interim pool manager at the Ouray Hot Springs. "A lot of people haven’t gotten to experience the hot springs. Depending on where you’re from in the country, there aren’t a lot of hot springs”.

According to Vincent, there’s been a steady increase in attendance at the Ouray Hot Springs over the last five years.

The Ouray Hot Springs have been around since the late 1920s, but started operating year-round in the 1980s.

The springs are all natural and 3 of the 5 pools feature geothermal water.

"So we get about 300 gallons a minute depending on the season,” Vincent said.

Ouray is known for its hiking and jeeping. But during the winter months it relies on tourists who are interested in ice-climbing and soaking in the hot springs.

"This is a really popular tourist destination,” Vincent added.

To learn more about the 30 hot springs areas in Colorado, click here.

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