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Ground breaks on $60M luxury resort not far from Zion National Park

Mar 27, 2024, 7:55 AM

A rendering of what the Zion Canyon Hot Springs resort will look like when it opens in 2025. Ground...

A rendering of what the Zion Canyon Hot Springs resort will look like when it opens in 2025. Ground broke on the project Monday. (Matchstick/HFA Architecture via WorldSprings)

(Matchstick/HFA Architecture via WorldSprings)

LA VERKIN, Washington County — Construction is now underway on a new hot springs-centric luxury resort that project officials say will “redefine” hospitality options in southwest Utah when it opens next year.

Ground broke Monday on a $60 million project called Zion Canyon Hot Springs, located about 20 miles west of the park’s south entrance. It will feature 53 bodies of water, including 32 natural hot spring pools and a mix of mineral pools, barrel saunas, cold plunge pools and an “expansive” freshwater pool and whirlpool, according to WorldSprings, owner of the forthcoming facility.

WorldSprings officials said they plan to split the resort off to create areas for families and adults not traveling with children, anticipating the different traveling needs of those exploring southwest Utah. It will also include a retail section, bars and restaurants, cabanas and locker rooms with 1,150 lockers.

It’s slated to open in the fall of 2025.

“We’re really excited about bringing this amenity to the community and to the visitors who come to Zion every year, and can’t wait for this facility to be open to show people what we’re about,” said Christian Henny, president of Zion Canyon Hot Springs, after Monday’s ceremony. “It’s going to be a great experience and something that I think everyone’s going to really love.”

Monday’s update was several years in the making. St. George News reported in August 2022 that what is now known as WorldSprings would open a resort on a 15-acre plot of land following multiple years of planning and discussions.

WorldSprings picked La Verkin because of its proximity to the Pah Tempe Hot Springs, also known as the La Verkin Hot Springs, near the Virgin River, Henny explained on Monday. The Washington County Water Conservancy District offered a deal allowing the company to use about 2,000 gallons of natural hot springs mineral water per minute.

He added that the company plans to use different water options to account for the mounting water availability concerns within southwest Utah.

A rendering of what the Zion Canyon Hot Springs resort will look like when it opens in 2025. Ground broke on the project on Monday. (Photo: Matchstick/HFA Architecture via WorldSprings)

For example, natural mineral water pools will feature “flow-through” designs, using Virgin River flows. There, the resort plans to capture loose debris from the river, but water will flow back into the river. People are asked to shower before entering to reduce any potential water quality issues. In general, he said the process of lowering the temperature and removing hydrogen sulfide from the water will improve the river’s water quality.

The hot springs produce 7 million gallons of water daily, according to the Washington County Water Conservancy District. The springs also produce about 109,000 tons of salt annually, which the district says “pose unique challenges to our regional and local water supply.”

The water can reach about 107 degrees Fahrenheit, but Henny said the resort will work to control temperatures to be about 88 to 104 degrees. He said the resort will also keep an eye on any Virgin River algal blooms, though he believes there’s a “low” probability that would be a problem based on the project location.

Zion National Park pulled in 4.6 million visits in 2023, as it remains one of the country’s most-visited national parks. La Verkin Mayor Kelly Wilson joked that the new resort may serve as a place for visitors to “stop and spend money here,” which the city is looking forward to.

“We’re excited as we can be to have them come to town,” he said during Monday’s ceremony. “It’s going to be a great facility for La Verkin and for the whole county.”

Meanwhile, the resort would be the latest in WorldSprings‘ growing portfolio.

The company began in 2015 with the creation of Iron Mountain Hot Springs, located about 40 miles northwest of Aspen, Colorado. It now appears to be in the process of establishing multiple spring-related resorts across the U.S.

The company expanded after its owners of the hot springs partnered with New York-based Off Road Capital Partners, according to Dallas Innovates. It to open a new flagship location in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas this spring, while Zion Canyon Hot Springs will be its third location once it opens.

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Ground breaks on $60M luxury resort not far from Zion National Park