OGDEN, Utah – Construction in Ogden Canyon has forced the city to close access to the popular hot springs in the area.
The closure at the so-called Hot Pots is part of a bigger problem that has been boiling over for years; officials said the springs are on private property in the canyon.
Many people use the hot springs, but many of them don’t know that the springs are on private property. The owner of the property, Bill King, said he’s never given people permission to be there. He said he’s tried to keep people out but hasn’t been able to, and he said with the construction going on it’s more important than ever for people to steer clear.
Police reports indicate the hot springs have become a hot spot for illicit activity, including drug use, lewdness and multiple deaths. Ogden City Engineer Justin Anderson said they’ve gotten involved in preventing trespassing due to safety concerns.
“When you are down below, you can't really see everything going on,” he said. “We just don't want an errant rock or something coming down and injuring somebody, so we've fenced it all off, and we want to make sure people stay out of there."
Ogden resident Jan Babilis said the shutdown doesn’t surprise him, but the timing does.
“I'm really surprised they hadn't done something like this before, if they are going to shut it down or eliminate it,” Babilis said.
King said a shutdown is exactly what he would like to see happen. But, city officials said people are continuing to risk the consequences of sneaking into the springs, despite warning signs and fences.