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Web Maester

Web Maester

Thursday, 06 February 2020 19:07

New Membership Upgrade Process

Your support of the land trust through your donation is much appreciated. Not only do members get advance reservations benefits and an invitation to the annual Member Appreciation Weekend, your donation supports the efforts OLT makes to preserve and restore natural and biological resources. For-profit hot springs often become crowded as there is little effort made to limit attendance to a reasonable capacity. OLT has limits on how many people attend each day to maintain a relaxed and uncrowded environment. OLT also engages in conservation projects to protect wildlife habitat, open space, soil restoration, and practice small-scale, historic agriculture. Your membership donations are a valuable contribution to this work.

Implementing a new reservation system has given us the opportunity to simplify how members upgrade to a higher-level membership. The method we've been using has been a little confusing and awkward. Now, instead of "stacking" donations with different expiration dates, we are going to pro-rate recent donations, giving you a credit toward an upgrade. For example, if you donate $50.00 on January 1, you become a member at the Friend level for one year. If six months later on July 1, you want to upgrade to the next level, that of Supporter, your $50.00 original donation will give you half a year's credit of $25.00 toward your Supporter membership. Your new membership simply expires July 1 of the next year.

We expect you to have questions and we will be glad to explain how the new system will work in your individual circumstance. The new structure will be more fair to the members and less confusing about when a membership expires.

Thank you for your support!

Here's another example upgrading after 2½ months...




New pro-rated membership credit method

Thursday, 06 February 2020 18:25

Imagine Being an OLT Board Member

Orient Land Trust's current board is doing an awesome job ensuring that the vision and mission of OLT is met. The current and past board members work closely with OLT staff to keep things spinning like a smooth running hydro generator creating energy that electrifies all visitors. I believe OLT's influence join other tribes in being guardians of our world. Perhaps the season of longer nights may lead to your own schemes and dreams for new directions and beginnings that may include the Orient Land Trust.
Wednesday, 18 December 2019 10:55

Rate Increase

There will be rate increases for 2020. Admission fees are going up and guests will be charged taxes directly. Rate increases will go into effect March 1, 2020.

Admission Fees: There is a $2.00 increase on Day Pass Admissions and a $4.00 increase on Overnight Admissions. May through September, a day pass admission is going to be $17.00 per adult. Overnight admission will be $34.00 per adult. October through April, Day Pass Admission will be $15.00 per adult and Overnight Admission will be $30.00 per adult. Children are still admitted at no charge. Pet fees will remain the same.

Taxes: OLT is required to pay several taxes, State taxes and Saguache County Taxes. We do not have to pay tax on admission fees but we do pay taxes on sales and lodging. These taxes have increased steadily over the years. Up until now, OLT has paid the taxes from the payment made. From now on, taxes will be added to the payment. As an example, during the summer, Elm cabin costs $75.00 and up until this year, the taxes OLT paid (about $5.10 was sent to the state out of the $75.00 paid). From now on the tax will be added meaning that Elm cabin in the summer will cost $75.00 plus tax, or about $80.25.

We are aware that these rate increases may pose a hardship for some. We do not take this step without some long, critical examination. The expenses for OLT have continually increased. There have been several expensive projects. The Wastewater treatment plant installed in 2015 was three years in planning and design. The Colorado Public Health And Environment Drinking Water division requires that we treat the drinking water and that has taken two years of planning, design, and installation. The big project for the past two or three years that has taken time and effort is the new reservation system that will improve the reservation, check-in, and record keeping needs. This has been complex and we have endeavored to provide a complete transition of all the features that have made the check-in process for guests quicker and confusion free while opening the door for future features. The Wastewater Treatment plant has been reliable and involves less irritating odors than the previous, undersized system. The drinking water treatment is providing high quality water that tastes good and is safe and state approved. Both the Wastewater Treatment system and the drinking water disinfection system were mandated by the State of Colorado. The reservation system is nearing completion and although it will take training and practice to get up to speed, the opportunity to gradually improve and refine is promising.

Even though we have seen an increase in expenses, another reason for increasing the rates is to provide health insurance for staff. Employer provided health care is a real benefit for many. There is a robust debate among state and federal legislators regarding ways to improve healthcare. In the meantime, we are addressing the very real needs of our staff to meet the present environment. The future may bring better solutions for all.

It has been ten years since admission rates went up. The Board of Directors and staff have continually and consistently advocated for keeping these costs down, Compared to other hot springs, the rates, even with this increase, are still lower than most. We continue to admit accompanied minors at no charge. We are maintaining a lower winter rate to offer a time that costs are lower and to encourage people to visit during the beautiful, white wintry months.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 10:35

Closed December 1–December 28

Every December the hot springs closes for four weeks. Some people think we get to take it easy during this time. The truth is that we are quite busy. We have projects that can only be done while we are closed. Last year we installed geothermal heat in Oak House, installed new windows in Oak House, replaced the heating elements in the heater that provides heated water to the hot pools, as well as thorough cleaning of all the buildings. There are times when we monitor the phones and keep in touch with people trying to make reservations. There are times that we do not answer the phones.

We re-open on December 29 and are open for New Year's Eve. These four weeks are the only time that the hot springs is closed. A staff member is present for oversight. The grounds, pools, and wildlife enjoy the peace and quiet and the regeneration that accompanies the emptiness and reduction in human impact. Thank you for your understanding.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 10:35

Pavilion Kitchen

Limited Amenities

NO DISHES OR COOKWARE PROVIDED: Kitchen appliances remain but shelves are bare. Bring everything you need to cook and dine.

DISINFECT AND CLEAN AS YOU GO: Supplies will be available. Be proactive and attend to individual

Subject to change. Read the latest guidelines here.

During the warm months of summer, the Pavilion Kitchen is a spacious place to prepare food, enjoy the company of friends, and clean your dishes. As the weather gets cold, the sink needs to be shut off and the Food Storage Cabin gets used for the healing work of the massage therapists. The Pavilion sinks are turned off during the last week of October. Pots, pans, and utensils are not currently provided stored away for the winter. We may have wood fires in the Pavilion in the evenings depending on what the county allows. The community kitchen in the Oak House is still available. Be aware that there will normally be a wait time for your turn in the Oak House kitchen. Quiet hours begin at 10:00 PM and cooking after that time is discouraged. If you are camping, a propane or white gas stove gives you more independence for food preparation. No wood fires or charcoal grills please. There are kitchen sinks outside the Main Bath for washing dishes.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 10:34

Ranch Museum Open

At Everson Ranch, we have yet to perfect the time machine, but if you take a walk through the old 1880s side of the ranch, you can still get a vivid glimpse into the past.

One of the big projects at the ranch this summer has been the clean-up of the old barn areas. As old boards were moved and tumbleweed were tossed aside, treasures were found strewn across the area. Old farm artifacts, some over a century old, have been unearthed and put on display. Old smokers, wagon wheels, pulleys, horseshoes, wood peg door frames, skulls, oil cans, hand forged nails and much more make up our new walk through ranch 'museum'.

Four attached storage rooms line the barns, and all of the objects that were found in each were salvaged and displayed in the room they were found, thereby allowing the story of the ranch to come into a fuller picture. From the old paint/oil can storage space to the old butcher shop, the past starts to come into focus as the work progresses.

Monday, 19 August 2019 15:10

Goodbye Mike


How much can one man accomplish in 8 years? If there is a limit, nobody told Mike O'Donal. Since being hired by the Orient Land Trust as the manager of Everson Ranch, Mike's list of accomplishments is practically never-ending. But nothing gold can stay. After this summer Mike will be hanging up his boots and retiring from Everson Ranch. When asked what Mike has done on the ranch since being hired, Doug Bishop, executive director of the Orient Land Trust, just laughs and says, "Practically everything. Mike has been a workhorse from day one," Doug says. He goes on to list some of Mike's many achievements, including everything from building a bathhouse/kitchen, to cleaning up countless deadwood trees and rusty nails. From bringing in the animals and expanding the herds, to working to protect the endangered fish species in the meanders. From fixing up old buildings to helping with the science camps. From building countless yards of fencing to converting a shipping container into a workshop. Installing a methane digester to putting up a front porch. Creating an irrigation system to planting and cutting hay for winter feed. The list goes on and on, and on, and on; to the point where the only question left to ask is, "Who is this guy!?" The answer to that question has so many answers. Mike is a loving husband and proud son. A teacher and mentor who has trained countless volunteers, kids, and staff on the how-tos of running a ranch. A builder who has constructed over a dozen homes as well as the Apple Tree ponds at Valley View Hot Springs. A person who shows up, day after day, and lives his passion. "I have received so many compliments about Mike," says Rosie Rosenberg, Visitor's Service Manager. "Children have been changed forever. Hearts and eyes have been opened by Mike." 

Monday, 19 August 2019 15:09


Part of preparing your own food instead of eating at a restaurant or just eating ready to eat foods, is the inevitable food waste. There are discarded peels, rinds, cobs, bits that you cut away, and other remnants of the food preparation process. There are also leftovers. Some of the uneaten food can't be realistically saved. What do you do with food scraps - garbage? When you are home, you can do what you like. Use the garbage disposal, compost those scraps, or throw them in the trash bin. However, when you are staying at the hot springs, there are a few considerations that help us. First, there is no garbage disposal. Second, if you throw food in the trash cans you are attracting many woodland and desert creatures. The smell of food in the trash cans attracts animals such as deer, squirrels, insects, and bears. Third, responsible use of our food resource includes recycling food waste. At OLT we use the waste to feed chickens and pigs. They relish the garbage that could become a dangerous nuisance if put in a compost heap or stuffed in a trash bin. Our garbage is fed to the animals. Please don't put plastic bags, paper products, or containers in with the garbage, This only makes unpleasant work for the person feeding the animals. We don't want the chickens to learn to peck eggshells so it helps if you keep those out of the garbage buckets. Thank you for helping us "Keep a Clean Camp."

Monday, 19 August 2019 15:05

Healing Water and Bodywork

The bodywork team at OLT welcomes you and understands that arriving can sometimes be the hardest part. Most visitors are travelling far and wide to rejuvenate in our therapeutic waters. Many come to wash away city traffic and buzz others come to deepen their relationship with nature and some come to cleanse themselves from troubles current and past. The talented group of bodyworkers are here to serve you. Located outside either in the rustic therapy tipi or screened in space above the apple tree ponds our services are complemented by the neighboring running creek, beautiful cactus blooms and baby deer. Please call therapists directly to reserve an appointment and leave our hot springs feeling renewed and refreshed.

Thursday, 15 August 2019 11:49

Harvest Celebration 2019

The 4th Annual Harvest Celebration is Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 3:00 - 6:30 PM at Everson Ranch. 

Enjoy a great Chuckwagon Dinner and a wonderful Concert and Dance by The River Arkansas for $25 per person.

Tickets are available by calling the Front Desk at 719-256-4315.



For the education, enjoyment, and well-being of current and future generations, Orient Land Trust: 
promotes a positive clothing-optional experience at all properties including Valley View Hot Springs, Orient Mine and Everson Ranch;
preserves the viewshed, including land acquisition; 
protects natural, wild, agricultural, and historic resources, in the northern San Luis Valley.