Pagosa Springs, CO: The Spa Healing Waters

Native Am. History
Early Settlers History
Modern History
Hot Springs Formations
Healing Minerals
Relaxation Benefits
Hdyrotherapy Benefits
Spa Site


Modern History of The Spa at Pagosa Springs

The original Spa was called the Navapachute (Navajo, Apache, and Ute) after the three tribes that used the water.  Owner Mrs. Cora Woods built the swimming pool in 1938.

George Spock and his uncles, the Judishacks, purchased the spa resort from Mrs. Cora Woods in 1946 after returning from the war. Shortly thereafter they decided to sell it. So, in March of 1950 the Giordano’s purchased the Spa and have been the owners ever since.

The Giordano’s had moved to Pagosa Springs in 1950 from Walsenburg, CO where Mike Giordano was in the coal mining business with his dad and brothers.  Mike decided to leave the business and began to look for other ventures. He knew George Spock and bought the Spa when it went up for sale.

Mike drilled three wells on the property over the next several years.  The first was drilled by Sandy Sanders in 1952.  One of the wells was almost on Hot Springs Blvd.  When Sam Arnold bought the Hot Springs (across the street) from the Lynns, he said that the well was on his property.  Although Billy Lynn tried to tell Mike that it wasn’t on Mr. Arnold’s property (he had done the survey and knew), Mike was intimidated by Mr. Arnold and ruined the well and drilled another about 20 feet inside the property line.

Mike then built the first four motel rooms, the bathhouse and dressing rooms for the swimming pool prior to 1956. In 1956, he built the next seven rooms.  

Marsha Preuit, Mike Giordano’s daughter, took over running the motel in 1981 when Nancy Giordano decided to retire from teaching and she and Mike began to travel. 

Marsha and her husband Bunk, built the second story unit in 1984 as previous years had been getting busier and busier.  Mistake!  That was the year of the oil and gas bust and most of the customers from Texas and Oklahoma stayed home.  The Preuit's squeaked by, relying instead on the business generated by the skiing industry in the winter months.

The mineral waters of The Spa at Pagosa Springs have attracted guests from all over the country, as well as from Europe.  The Dannas used to come from Italy, ride the train to Walsenburg and then the bus to Pagosa. They were quite elderly and he made his money with ice cream (gelato) carts. Another family came from Pennsylvania every summer for three weeks.

According to Marsha:

The Swimming Pool at the Spa used to be the center of entertainment for most of the town in the '60s.  My brother, Mike (Tuffy) taught swim lessons and we even had a swim team. It was really a draw for the kids in town. Everyone used to hang out all day long before we had jobs, and then after work and days off when we started working.  My brothers ran the pool until I was old enough to take over and they had other jobs.

We closed the pool in _____ because _________.

When we reopened the pool in 1984, I imagined that it would be like it was when I was young, but times had changed and so had people.  So we changed focus and did away with the lifeguards. It is becoming a family thing more and more, especially for mothers with young children. Because the water is warm, children learn to swim much more quickly and they love to play in the warm water.

For a while, people stopped using the mineral waters for healing because everyone was looking for a quick fix.  Take a pill and you will be all better was the new fad.  Fortunately the shift is going back to natural healing and people are realizing that everything takes time.

Healing Power

Marsha recalls a cattle buyer from Denver whose doctor gave him only a few months to live after being diagnosed with a kidney or liver ailment. This man, in his mid-forties, decided to try the baths in Pagosa Springs that someone had told him about. It worked, so he would come four times a year. He'd stay two weeks, taking the baths and drinking the water and then he would leave with a trunk full of five gallon plastic gas cans full of the mineral water. It would last him until he came back three months later. He continued this ritual for years until he was an old man.

Marsha remembers another lady that lived up Endaba Valley when there was still nothing there. Her husband was in construction and they built a big log home. She had arthritis that was so bad she couldn’t walk. Her husband asked if he and a friend could bring her for the baths. They carried her in every day for two weeks, then they brought her every day and helped her in for another three weeks. After that she could walk and would come alone everyday for weeks until they sold their place and moved away. 

Below, Marsha tell us a story about her father and the power of the healing waters in his life:

Mike Giordano (Marsha's father) fell in the swimming pool in 1956 while doing some remodeling. The pool had about 10 inches of water in it at the time and an elderly gentleman living in one of our rooms held dad's head up until someone came by and heard his calls for help.  He had a broken back and two broken wrists. 

After he was out of the hospital and home again, he started taking baths. He always said that was the only thing that kept him going.

In 1972, he had a horse go over backwards with him. The saddle horn broke his femur and then the horse stepped on him, breaking his tibia and fibula. The doctors told him he would never walk again.

After three months in the hospital and three months in a body cast, he was ready for some hot baths. He started going in twice a day and by spring was not only walking but was riding his horse again.  He had his leg amputated in 1987 but that didn’t slow him down at all.  He continued to take two baths a day and would even swim during the nice days.

Nancy Giordano (Marsha's mom) drinks the mineral water every day and takes a hot bath.  She turned 93 on March 17, 2008. In April, she fell and broke her hip.  She has never taken any medication other than her vitamins and was a marvel to the nurses and doctors.  After getting out of the hospital and using her walker for six weeks, she started walking with her cane.  Now she carries the cane until she remembers she has it and then starts using it again. 

What can the waters do for you?
Come find out!

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The Spa at Pagosa Springs | Motel and Healing Water Hot Springs Pool
317 Hot Springs Blvd., Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

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