Hot pools for Ketchum
In the wake of the defeat of the $11.8 million
recreation facilities bond, the city of Ketchum should take a look at a city-wide bond
issue to build an outdoor leisure aquatic center in Ketchum.
The county-wide recreation bond that would have built two
facilitiesone in Ketchum and one in Haileyfailed by just a sliverabout
one vote in Ketchum. The bond was soundly defeated county-wide by a vote of 55.4% to
44.6%. It required a two-thirds majority for passage.
Ketchum is the only city in the county with its own parks department,
and the only one that offers active playing fields. It should capitalize on the interest
shown in the aquatic center by contracting for a revised feasibility study and cost
estimates for its own facility.
Natural warm water has strong appeal for people of every age. Since the
demise of the private Bald Mountain Hot Springs, the hot water for which the area is well
known has gone unused.
A feasibility study conducted on the North Valley Aquatic Center showed
that revenues would more than cover the cost of operations and maintenance. The study also
estimated that the centers payroll could dump more than $400,000 annually into the
The idea of a soak in a warm outdoor pool after a day of hiking or
spring skiing is appealing to people of any age. The location of the pool on Saddle Road
near Rotary Park could make it sensational for summer picnic and pool gatherings for
families. With proper management and marketing, the facility could become a regional
drawanother jewel in the crown of the mountain experience for residents and visitors
Its possible that private hot tubs and hotel facilities may
already fill the bill. The only way to find out is to do the research and ask voters to