Hot Springs Are Good For Turfgrass, Too

When was the last time you soaked in a mineral hot springs pool, relaxed at a spa, or went for a leisurely bike ride? Maybe a more adventuresome horseback ride, hike along the Colorado Trail, or a whitewater raft trip down the Arkansas River is more your speed. This agenda and more await guests at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort in Nathrop, Colorado.

Located approximately two hours southwest of Denver and one and a half hours due west of Colorado Springs, the resort offers a wide variety of activities, although its main attraction for more than 100 years has been the geothermal springs that feed the resort’s soaking pools. The breathtaking scenery posed by nearby 14,197-foot-high Mt. Princeton and neighboring peaks also makes it a perfect venue for weddings and other special occasions.

“There’s enough going on here to keep the resort busy 365 days a year,” says lawn maintenance contractor Roger Campbell. Up until this past April, he worked full time at the resort taking care of the grounds. Now, as a mowing contractor, he’s hired by the resort to keep its turf looking lush and manicured.


“I wanted to back away a bit from some of the other responsibilities I had here and concentrate on doing what I enjoy doing the most,” he relates. “That’s mowing. I would rather cut grass than do anything else.” He has plenty to cut at the resort, five acres to be exact.

Experienced Veteran

Campbell and his wife, Linda, who is the HR manager at the resort, moved to Colorado from Memphis, Tennessee, in 1997. They had been lawn maintenance contractors prior to the move, and it was only natural for them to seek out similar work around their new home. Campbell soon found a job mowing and maintaining an area ski resort, which he did for seven years prior to hiring on at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort four years ago. Throughout, his mower of choice has been the Walker Mower.


“Back in Memphis, I operated a Kubota rider, but I needed a machine that would leave a more finished look,” Campbell recalls. “I kept seeing the Walker Mower advertised in PRO Magazine and eventually purchased one with a 42-inch GHS deck. Even though it had a smaller cut and a smaller engine (a 16.5-hp Kubota diesel) than my other mower, I used it for most every job, including sometimes mowing and bagging an entire football field.”

Upon his move to Colorado, Campbell convinced the ski resort manager to purchase two 26-hp Walker Mowers, again with 42-inch GHS decks. Not coincidentally, Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort also has the same yellow machine maintaining its property.

Geothermal Staying Power

walker-talk-volume-38-11_1“Weddings are quite popular here,” Campbell explains. “In fact, the resort hosts 40 or more every year. Most ceremonies are held down by a secluded landscaped area that borders Chalk Creek, which also sports 30 accessible small soaking pools. The area is impeccably maintained and is the perfect application for a Walker Mower.”

Campbell says he can mow the resort in two days if need be, but it usually takes the better part of three to cover the grounds. The mowing season begins around the first of May and continues until November. “I think the warm water from the geothermal wells has a positive effect on turfgrass just as it does people,” Campbell adds. “The grass is lush and doesn’t seem to go dormant in the fall quite as quickly as it does in other areas. On average, we get 26 mowings a year.”

Campbell also has a dethatcher and fertilizer attachment for his mower, and mounts a spray tank on the deck for spot spraying. The Walker Perfaerator aerator is on his wish list, along with a new dethatcher.

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort is located on 500-plus acres. Guests can stay in separate cabins, select from a variety of cliffside and poolside rooms, or choose one of nine rooms in the main lodge. In addition to the main-attraction soaking pools, which can reach 105° F, the resort features an exercise pool, the abovementioned creek pools, and a main swimming pool with a 375-foot slide. Riding stables next door offer guided pack trips.

When not working at the resort, Campbell drives a bus for the area’s oldest rafting company. For guests who want the thrill of whitewater rafting, he says the resort can set up a package deal with one of the companies. The part-time job is a change of pace, and his hobbies of fly fishing, hunting and riding a 1,000cc BMW motorcycle take up any additional spare time. But more than anything else, this landscape contractor would rather be on his Walker Mower, mowing. 

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