Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fun with a few "Before and After" pics

After browsing through our photos from 2004, I realized just how things really have changed. You may not realize it if you are here everyday, but our guests who haven't been here in years keep reminding me that we have come a long way. Hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Long overdue update!

Welcome back Riverbenders! It has been over four months since our last post and a lot has happened since then. It's not that I haven't had some time or just keep forgetting to post. I just haven't been taking photos lately and I wanted to have some photos to show what we have added. I managed to get out today and shoot the highlights of our recent additions. The past four months were busy indeed. We've had a few major projects and literally dozens of small ones. Only a few really come to mind right now, so I'll start with them, with more updates to come.

First, the biggest ongoing project (Aug-Nov) was the construction of our new stamped concrete walkways. We formed and poured literally hundreds of feet of walkways that go to nearly every place at Riverbend that our guests and staff would walk. The walkways are 3-4 ft wide and are made up of dozens of separate pours that went on all Fall. Though we still have plans to add contrasting borders to the segments in the main courtyard, the walkways are essentially done.

They are comprised of very strong (4000 psi) concrete with fiber reinforcement. We stamped them with a stone pattern and then stained them with a very inexpensive and ecologically safe fertilizer, called Iron Sulfate. The fertilizer is mixed with water and sprayed on the concrete, creating a chemical reaction that stains the concrete to a range of rusty browns. Then we sealed them with low VOC, water based sealer with a matte finish to maintain traction for wet/bare feet.

The guests are all very happy to be able to walk from the springs to the rooms and restroom without shoes and without tracking in pebbles. Checkout the video walkthrough of some of the walkways, below.

The next big project, which we actually did before the walkways, is the construction of the new 12x50' porch covering. The old covering was a very weathered mis-mosh of old twisted 2x4s and 1x4s that did provide sunscreening, but no protection from the rain. We replaced the bad tree-trunk posts and kept the good ones. Then, the structure was reframed and covered with a seamless, and hidden fastener, metal roof colored metallic copper. We then faced the beams with rustic tree bark and added low voltage dome lights and spot lights. The resulting porch is a happy marriage of modern technology and old rustic charm, which is the basis of everything we try to do now at Riverbend. Before and after, below.

The next big additions are our new stone tree wells. The trees used to be simply bordered by a few loose stones laid halfway in ground. The new wells have a concrete foundation and are mortared stone walls that double as casual seating for guests. We stained the mortar joints black for the same high contrast effect on our rock pools and we sealed them with a wet-look sealer that brings out the random local stones' color. The new tree wells, not only add to the look of the place, but will help us to deep water the trees with river water, by flooding them. Coming soon: low voltage dome lights around the exterior of the wells.

In addition to the artwork of our talented hard-scapers, we have also started to add some commissioned artwork from outside sources. Right now, several of our rooms are appointed with the work of the very talented, Mary Alice Winchell. She has sent us more work, that will likely be used in some common areas. Her work is already featured throughout La Casita and the Public Pool Bath House. Stay tuned for some photos of her work, custom made for Riverbend.

We recently acquired some stunning pieces from Aryen Hart. His work consists of metal, treated with heat, grinding, and chemical reactions, then printed over with archival ink and sealed with a gloss coating. Photos don't do his work justice. His work comes alive with spot lighting and movement, like a hologram. We hung 3 of the 4 pieces that we have in front of our King Suites, which really classes up the courtyard. The pieces that we got seem to go perfectly with our Flowing Water motif.

Another well known artist, Georgia Stacy, custom made us a gorgeous entry gate last spring. She designed it for us to be used for our main entrance, but we felt that it fit better between our colorful mural and straw-bale wall. We finally installed it recently, and though it will likely be enhanced somehow on the sides, it already adds so much to the look of our front facade. The flowing water motif shows up here, loud and clear. Click her name above for just a few other examples of her master wood carving skills.

Well, there have been countless other little projects keeping us all busy around here and if you haven't been here in a while, a stroll around the property will reveal many of them. However, I want to save some of them for future posts.

I would like to give a shout out to Big John Murphy, who is here right now brightening up the place with updated and new paint jobs, Keith Pedersen, for his master carpentry and masonry skills on the porch and walkways, the Rios brothers for their work on the tree wells, and of course, Jeff Thomas for his ever dependable help on nearly every project that we have taken on in the past 3 years. Thanks guys! Riverbend has you written all over it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Riverbend featured on "Explore! New Mexico" radio show

We were recently featured on an hour long episode of Explore! New Mexico, hosted by Cheryl Fallstead. It aired on KSNM 570 AM of Las Cruces on Tuesday July 21st. Click here to listen.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gift Shop now open!

Check out our new gift shop on CafePress.com

Visit http://www.cafepress.com/riverbendhs to get your Riverbend Hot Springs gifts and memorabilia today!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Honey Dewdrops to play on Monday, July 20th

Another installment of Riverbend’s Free Summer Concert Series rolls on as the we host The Honey Dewdrops on Monday, July 20th at 7 PM. “Husband and wife duo, The Honey Dewdrops, mix elements of bluegrass, folk, country and old-timey music with modern-day sentiment for something haunting, melancholic and altogether charming" - Jeff Royer, Fly Magazine.

If the Sun Will Shine, their debut record, was just released May 2009. Recorded live and mixed in a 1920s barn, the record is meant to pay homage to their live performances - full of the same energy and emotion the Honey Dewdrops bring to the stage. The album is a collection of songs that The Honey Dewdrops have written over the past two years and it features material that comes straight from the heart. There are eleven original tunes - some of which are award winners, and a few of the songs got Laura and Kagey plane tickets to St. Paul, Minnesota where they appeared on A Prairie Home Companion's "People in their Twenties Talent Show" (and won first place) in March 2008.

Come join Laura and Kagey for this free show on Riverbend's riverside patio at 7 pm on Monday, July 20th, or come soak in the adjacent public pools and enjoy live music in the hot springs for $10/hr. Donations will be accepted for the performers travel costs. 
To hear their music visit http://www.myspace.com/thehoneydewdrops

So far this year, Riverbend has hosted: Raina Rose, Johann Wagner, Harbor Collective, Molly Venter, and Frogs Gone Fishin’. Upcoming scheduled shows include Gabrielle Louise and Martha Reich, both in September. Keep checking the blog for updates.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another Before and After shot

Though the first shot was taken 8 months ago, all of the work that we've done in this area has been in the last 3 months. Updates and additions in this area include the now famous River Pier, the mineral water feature, new tile embedded grout lines on the flagstones, trex railings with custom copper balusters, new steps and railings to the river, and updated landscaping and potted plants.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Molly Venter returns to perform June 18th

Singer/songwriter Molly Venter will return to entertain guests and locals with a musical performance on our riverside patio, Thursday June 18th at 7 pm. Molly wowed a full audience with her amazing voice and melodies during her last performance here in March. Despite high winds and cold temperatures her instant fans stuck it out to hear every last note that she was willing to give us.

Molly successfully combines Alternative Folk Pop with strong undertones of Soul, Gospel and a hint of Country. Molly’s voice is undeniably compelling; drawing comparisons to Tracy Chapman, Fiona Apple, Natalie Merchant and Patty Griffin. She infuses soulful passion and a gutsy edge to her rich, textured lower tones. As written in American Songwriter Magazine: “Few singers turn first time listeners into eternal fanatics as effortlessly as Molly Venter… Her voice is like an unbelievable burgundy; many notes, flavors, fragrances, and it all goes down like silk.” To hear Molly's music visit http://www.myspace.com/mollyventer.

Come join Molly for this free show on Riverbend's new riverside patio, or come soak in the adjacent public pools and enjoy live music in the hot springs for $10/hr. Of course, overnight guests will enjoy the springs and the music at no additional cost. Donations will be accepted and appreciated for Molly's travel expenses.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tour our Public Pools

Check out this video of our public pools and surrounding area. This video features our new riverside water feature.

New water feature uses the mineral water

After 3 days and eight blisters on one hand later, I finished our newest addition, a spillway and multitiered waterfall that uses the excess water from the public pools.

Other great things that were done these past two weeks: we replaced all of the posts and railing on the public pool deck with Trex brand railings and built custom horizontal balusters out of copper pipe. We also spray painted all of the handrails leading into the lower pools.

By popular demand and after 19 years of complaints, I reworked all of the plumbing on the public pools and was able to do away with the old plugs that made an annoying "sucking" sound and replaced them with valves and a inconspicuous riser pipe to maintain the pool's water level.

The addition of flowing water sounds and the subtraction of sucking water sounds are very welcomed additions that contribute to making Riverbend a truly relaxing place to spend time.

Massage makes a comeback at Riverbend!

Riverbend Hot Springs is pleased to announce that by popular demand, we once again have a Massage Therapist on site!

W. Dale Cosby is a Licensed Massage Therapist who has partnered with us as a private contractor to offer his services to both our lodging guests and walk-in soakers. Mr. Cosby has been licensed for 18 years, and has spent much of the last 6 years as a nationally certified continuing education instructor.

Dale will be offering both chair and table massages at the rate of $1 per minute, and on most days, will be set up on the patio behind Riverbend’s public pools for walk-in customers. He can also bring his portable table and chair to you, in your home or hotel room. To make an appointment or for further details, please call Dale directly at 575-497-9458.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Riverbend featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine

We are proud to announce that we were recently featured in an article in the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens. The article, named "Healing Waters" lists Riverbend and five other hot springs and their healing properties. We are so humbled by the fact that we are not only listed in a major national magazine, but are listed among such hot springs superstars as Hot Springs Arkansas and the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Thank you to the author, Sara Altshul. This was a pleasant surprise.
Click the images below to read the article.


Riverbend on Honda Insight "webisode"

Check out this episode of Honda's Insight Challenge from http://hondainsight.yahoo.com

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Two performances in April

Riverbend will host two performances this month. On Friday the 17th, Brianna Lane and Cahalen David Morrison will perform as Harbor Collective. The following Tuesday the 21st, Raina Rose and Johann Wagner return to Riverbend to perform again. Both concerts are at 7pm on our riverside patio and are free for our guests and any locals.

You can hear music and learn more about Harbor Collective at
Check out their solo sites at

You can hear music and learn more about Raina and Johann at their sites

Come join these talented performers for these free shows on Riverbend's new riverside patio, or soak in the adjacent public pools and enjoy live music in the hot springs for $10/hr (free for overnight guests). The concert is free, but donations will be accepted for the performer's travel expenses.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Room 5 gets window and floor upgrades

Though you can't tell from the pictures, Room 5 got a much needed upgrade. New Pella windows were installed in early March and while we were at it, we upgraded the flooring to Pergo- laminate flooring in the bedroom and porcelain tile in the bathroom. We also gave it a faux finish and updated the furniture and microwave. As the only standard room with a large bathroom and full bath, Room 5 is sure to be popular.

Before and After

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A before and after of the public pools.

It's fun to look back at older photos and see how quickly things have been changing around here. The top photo was taken in the Summer of 2004, but just one year ago, our public pools were virtually the same as in this photo. 2008 was a big year for us, as we built our patio, a new hot pool (replacing the stock tank cold plunge), landscaped around the pools, and built our new river dock/deck. It's a bummer that we lost the lower cottonwood tree due to the beavers last year, but the upside is that it opened up the northern river view a bit.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Molly Venter to perform March 26th

After our September concert with Raina Rose and Johann Wagner, the word is spreading among Austin, TX musicians that Riverbend is the coolest place to play in southern NM.

Molly Venter will play on our riverside patio on Thursday, March 26th at 7 pm. Check out her music at http://www.myspace.com/mollyventer

From Molly's press release:
Pairing creative hooky melodies, smart lyrics, and a voice that stops listeners in their tracks, Molly Venter successfully combines Alternative Folk Pop with strong undertones of Soul, Gospel and a hint of Country. Molly’s voice is undeniably compelling; drawing comparisons to Tracy Chapman, Fiona Apple, Natalie Merchant and Patty Griffin. She infuses soulful passion and a gutsy edge to her rich, textured lower tones. As written in American Songwriter Magazine; “Few singers turn first time listeners into eternal fanatics as effortlessly as Molly Venter… Her voice is like an unbelievable Burgundy; many notes, flavors, fragrances, and it all goes down like silk.”

Once she has drawn listeners in with her vocals and melodies, Venter wins over fans with the depth of her writing. Her insightful, creative lyrics follow in the tradition of Folk greats like Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. Looking at the world through the lense of relationship – romantic, familial and personal – Venter manages to find a narrative that is raw, curious and self-aware without being blaming or self-deprecating.

Molly’s voice and songwriting combined with her warmth and authenticity onstage make her a commanding presence. Idaho Mountain Express noted; “Molly Venter’s voice seems larger than her small frame could possibly produce – see her perform live, though, and one learns that her stage presence magnifies her, steals any show, and demands attention…”

Her song “Walking Backwards” appeared in the 2004 Warren Miller Ski Movie “Impact”, as well as subsequent Jeep promotional CD’s in ‘05, ‘06. This year she has been selected as a finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk competition and placed second at the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival’s songwriting competition. After 3 solo albums since 2004 and frequent coast to coast touring, Molly has been building an audience in a number of cities across the country, most notably New York, Boston and Austin, TX. Venter has now paired with Pavilion Entertainment and IDN distribution to create her first nationally released album, scheduled for March of 2008.

Venter grew up in New England, lived in the North-West and in Mexico before settling in Austin, TX, which she now calls home.

Room 8 gets a facelift

One of our most popular rooms got a facelift in late February. We removed the carpet and put down hardwood laminate flooring and vinyl tiles throughout. We also painted the walls with a faux finish resembling a cloudy sky. The result is a room that is now dog friendly and nicer than before, all of this without a price increase at all. Room 8 has two queen beds and a large kitchen/dining room with picnic table. If it wasn't already the most popular room for families on a budget, it will be now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Improvements to La Casita

We have just finished some major changes and improvements to La Casita Cottage. What started as a simple re-flooring of the dining room and bathroom, turned into a full re-plumbing of the house, a new water heater, a new tiled shower, a new tiled vanity and backsplash, tiled floors, AND, a new private yard, paved with flagstones and including a patio set and BBQ. Fans of La Casita will love the new (larger) shower and the increased privacy provided by the yard. The price increase is a modest $10 including tax. Below are some pictures of the new La Casita. Enjoy.