Boulder Hot Springs Inn, Spa and Retreat Center plans to re-open its outdoor pool and allow limited guest stays after Gov. Steve Bullock last week issued new guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Municipal pools, however, must remain closed if not a licensed public accommodation such as a hotel or motel, according to Marissa Perry, communications director for the governor’s office.

The Governor’s official reopening date for licensed pools, movie theaters, and non-tactile museums is May 15, as the state remains in Phase 1 of the reopening plan. The 14-day travel quarantine remains in effect for out-of-state visitors. 

Boulder Hot Springs  plans to re-open May 22, with the outdoor pool available for those staying overnight, said General Manager Kerri Kumasaka.

“We’re being cautious and taking it slow. Things could change day-by-day,” she said, adding that the indoor pools will remain closed for now.

The new guidance calls for only registered guests using the pool and it must not exceed 50 percent capacity, among other restrictions, according to the Governor’s office. 

The Centers for Disease Control has indicated that properly maintained pool water inactivates the virus, according to the Governor’s office.

Kumasaka said the Boulder Hot Springs outdoor pool is treated with bromide, which is similar to bleach or chlorine. 

The City of Boulder, meanwhile, has advertised for a lifeguard for its municipal pool so to have someone on board if the governor’s directives change, said City Clerk Ellen Harne. 

“Boulder usually opens the pool mid-June, so we decided to recruit for lifeguards now instead of receiving notification the pool can open and we haven’t adequately prepared for the opening, said Harne.

The Whitehall Town Council was expected to discuss its municipal pool at its meeting Monday, said Town Council President Roy McBride. 

“We would really love to have it open,” he said.

Kumasaka said Boulder Hot Springs, which is typically open year-round, had to close March 19 due to the governor’s stay-at-home order, and as a result, had to lay off 18 of its employees — or 90 percent of its workforce. 

Kumasaka is looking forward to rehiring some of those workers. 

She also said that reopening the outdoor pool will require some added expense and perhaps additional employees to keep items disinfected and sanitized. 

The facility will remove some of its lounge chairs to maintain social distancing and ask guests to shower in their rooms rather than in the common shower area, said Kumasaka.

Kumasaka said the facility has been getting many calls from folks asking about reopening. 

Some facilites are moving more slowly. 

The Star Theater in Whitehall said it doesn’t plan to reopen until late July or early August, according to its website. 

The Jefferson County Museum and Cultural Preservation Board meets May 19. 

The Boulder Fitness Center has been open throughout this time because it is a private, nonprofit facility, said Boulder Fitness Center Board member Connie Grenz.

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