Hot Tubs to Open With Less Insurance

Times Staff Writer

Puddingstone Hot Tubs, the first spa facility of its kind in a Los Angeles County park, will open Friday after winning clearance from the Board of Supervisors for a reduction in liability insurance.

The board Tuesday approved a request by the concessionaire, Hotubs Inc., to open the facility at Frank G. Bonelli Regional County Park with $1 million in liability insurance.

County officials said the original contract had required $3 million in insurance, but Hotubs Inc. was unable to obtain the total amount because of a nationwide trend in which insurance companies are refusing or limiting coverage of amusement parks and other recreational facilities.

Several other county park facilities also are having trouble renewing or finding insurance, officials said, prompting the county to consider reducing the amount of insurance it requires for each of them.

The hot tubs, which can be rented on an hourly basis by individuals or small groups, are perched on a ridge above the eastern flank of Puddingstone Reservoir and offer a sweeping view of the lake, the downtown Los Angeles skyline 30 miles away and the San Gabriel Mountains. In addition, a 25-person community hot tub with barbecue facilities is available for group rentals such as corporate picnics.

Olene Shipley, park superintendent, said the hot tubs are the latest in a series of improvements at the increasingly popular park, which last year attracted nearly 3 million people to its recreational vehicle campgrounds, Raging Waters amusement park, and horse, boat and wind-surfing rental facilities.

Shipley said park officials were "extremely pleased" with the design and landscaping of the new facility, which was proposed to the county by a local family of hot tub enthusiasts in 1983.

Tom Swann, whose family designed and constructed the facility, said seven of the 10 planned hot tubs have been completed, along with the community tub and barbecue area, and shower facilities.

He said the tubs will be open from sunrise to midnight near the eastern entrance to the park off Ganesha Boulevard. They will rent to individuals for $10 an hour, with the price dropping to $7.50 per person for two, and reduced further for groups of three or four, he said.

The community tub and barbecue facility is available for a fee of $200 to $350 for four hours, he said, and is available for groups of up to 100 people.

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