Resort taps solar power to heat outdoor pools

A Western Colorado resort has a new name and has opened its outdoor pool on a year-round basis.

Chipeta Sun Lodge in Ridgway is now Chipeta Solar Springs Resort. The new name reflects the installation of a solar collector system to heat a 300,000-gallon swimming pool to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and a new 20-person soaking pool to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The pools are the first in Southwest Colorado to be heated by solar energy.

The pools add to the amenities offered at the Chipeta Solar Springs Resort. The facility includes 25 southwestern style hotel rooms and condos. An on-site spa  features sauna and steam rooms and a complete fitness center. The spa provides massage and aroma therapy, facials and yoga classes. A poolside cafe serves juices,  smoothies, coffee and tea as well as light snacks.

To celebrate the opening of the solar thermal pools, Chipeta Solar Springs Resort will offer lodging and spa packages for the winter. Skiing and winter sports stay-and-play deals also will be offered.

For additional information, call (800) 633-5868 or log on to the Web site located at