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Governor to discuss future of hot springs park

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 22, 2014 at 8:28 pm •  Published: April 22, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Gov. Matt Mead plans to hear from Thermopolis residents Saturday regarding their concerns about operations at Hot Springs State Park following his administration's notice last month that it intends to cancel its contract with a longtime pool operator.

Milward Simpson, director of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, gave formal notice last month to the owners of TePee Pools Inc. that they must remove their pool and other property from the park by May 6.

Simpson notified the company that it failed to follow terms of its 35-year lease by not developing an acceptable master plan. He stated in letters to TePee Pools officials that he wants to see the park developed into a world-class water park, complete with large water slides and a "lazy river" feature for floating.

The company has had a concession to run a hot springs minerals bath and pools operation at the park since 1990. A lawyer for the company said earlier this month that TePee Pools has no intention of vacating the premises. Efforts to reach company officials on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Mead spokesman Renny MacKay said Tuesday said the administration continues to talk with company officials.

"Mead wants to hear from the local community as there are still several possible outcomes," MacKay stated. "He wants to understand their concerns and ideas for the hot springs. He will incorporate this input into short term and long term decisions."

In response to a question about whether the state may opt to keep its contract with TePee Pools, MacKay said, "We're going to hear from the community as there are still several possible outcomes as related to the lessee."

But Simpson said Tuesday that the state's position is the lease has been terminated.

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