City of Hot Springs votes to purchase Evans Plunge for $1.5 million

2013-04-22T16:20:00Z 2013-04-22T21:16:27Z City of Hot Springs votes to purchase Evans Plunge for $1.5 millionCurt Nettinga Hot Springs Star Rapid City Journal
April 22, 2013 4:20 pm  • 

With the blessing of local voters in hand, the Hot Springs City Council moved Monday to buy Evans Plunge for nearly $1.5 million.

The council unanimously passed a resolution at a special meeting Monday to buy the warm water pool, land, water rights and buildings for a total of $1.495 million with a closing date of July 1.

The citizens of Hot Springs approved an initiated measure on March 26 by only 11 votes, authorizing the city to borrow up to $1.9 million for the purchase and renovation of Evans Plunge, the oldest operating tourist attraction in the Black Hills.

Early on, some people worried the Plunge could be purchased by a private entity and closed to the public, though those early speculations did not materialize and would be put to rest if the city buys it.

 Included in the agreement is a clause that the city will bid for needed roof repairs for the facility, with costs not to exceed $148,000. Prior to the public meeting Monday, an executive session was held to consider what to do with gift shop inventory.

According to City Administrator Harley Lux, the current owners of the Plunge will retain gift shop items and a joint buyer/seller inventory will be conducted prior to closing. At that point, the city will purchase any remaining inventory at its invoice cost.

Lux said that the finer points of the purchase have been agreed upon by the current owners.

“I’m going to call Bill (Kuhl, a current owner) and have him come down and sign the agreement,” Lux said.

Joe Lux, a former mayor, leads a partnership that had expressed an interest in purchasing the attraction as well.

“That’s interesting,” he said when he learned of the purchase price. “That is certainly much more to what we considered to be a reasonable amount to offer.”

Joe Lux said that he would have to discuss with his partners if they wished to continue their pursuit of offering to buy Evans Plunge, which they have said they would keep open as a tourist attraction.

Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. West River
    Report Abuse
    West River - April 23, 2013 5:12 pm
    Too many Lux's involved.
    City Administrator Harley Lux represents the city and is talking on behalf of the city.

    Joe Lux is a ex-mayor who heads a private group who was also interested in purchasing the plunge. Joe Lux is saying that the city's offer is more than his group was willing to pay and he is going to go back and discuss it with his group.

    It all makes sense if you separate the two Lux's involved.
  2. Wayne Gilbert
    Report Abuse
    Wayne Gilbert - April 22, 2013 10:12 pm
    I have no idea what this means: “That is certainly much more to what we considered to be a reasonable amount to offer.” Is that because of a misprint or typo or is it because the reporter didn't do a follow-up question or two?
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