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Pagosa’s hot spring could make the record book

This Saturday, Pagosa Springs is expected to officially make it into the record book.

The Guinness Book of World Records, that is.

The “mother spring,” otherwise known as the “Great Pagosa Hot Spring,” located at The Springs Resort and Spa, has long been a valued asset and treasure to the town.

Known mostly as the source of relaxing hot water, the “mother spring” feeds all of The Springs Resort and Spa pools, in which many locals and out-of-town-visitors enjoy soaking.

Now, that spring will be known to the world for something besides the source of relaxation.

It will be known as the world’s deepest hot spring.

R.D. Whittington, the Springs Resort and Spa director of sales and marketing, said he has long heard stories from local folks about the spring, tales stating that it is the deepest, one of the biggest in the world.

“It is such a unique and natural resource that the town has,” says Whittington.

The rumors, the tales, the wonder of Pagosa’s natural resource, led Whittington to contact the Guinness Book of World Records with a dual purpose: to verify that the local spring indeed is the deepest hot spring in the world and, if so, then to let more people know about what a great natural resource Pagosa Springs has.

Before contacting officials at the Guinness Book of World Records, Whittington called Durango-based hydrologist John Casey, with Basin Engineering, to measure the depth of the spring.

To measure the depth, a plumb line, a long measuring tape with a probe attached to the end of it, is dropped into the spring. Where it stops is the depth of the body of water. The plumb line that Casey brought with him was 1,002 feet long. When Casey dropped the plumb line into the “mother spring,” it didn’t hit the bottom; instead, the plumb line ran out. So now, the official measurement is 1,002 ft.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, that’s the deepest hot spring in the world.

Prior to this, however, the depth of the spring had been measured using a 2,500-foot plumb line. The same thing happened: before the plumb line reached the bottom of the spring, the line ran out.

“This is such a unique record,” Whittington said, and because of this, the people at the Guinness Book of World Records were very interested and intrigued.

“This is a way of letting more people know how great the town of Pagosa Springs is and what a great natural attraction and resource we have,” Whittington says, adding that the Springs Resort and Spa is very happy to be given this notice.

However, Whittington asserts that this is not so much a record for The Springs Resort and Spa, but one for the entire town.

This Saturday, a judge from the New York office of the Guinness Book of World Records will be in Pagosa Springs. As Casey once again drops the plumb line into the spring, the judge will verify the record. Once the record is verified, a plaque will be presented to The Springs Resort, the spring will be entered into the next edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and the new record will be swiftly uploaded to the Guinness Book of World Records website, www.guinnessworldrecords.com.

The event will be marked with a celebration including cocktails, hors d’oeuvres from the Alley House and entertainment. The event will be held Saturday from 3 -5 p.m. and is open to the public.

lindsey@pagosasun.com

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