Windsor Community Recreation Center membership and attendance numbers quickly reach healthy levels | MyWindsorNow.com

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Windsor Community Recreation Center membership and attendance numbers quickly reach healthy levels

Memberships

Windsor’s Community Recreation Center has annual and monthly memberships are available, as well as daily admission choices for individuals and families.

Memberships can be purchased in person at the Windsor Community Recreation Center, 250 N. 11th St. Windsor, or by phone at (970) 674-3500.

For more information, go to http://windsorgov.com/memberships.

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Improvements

Good planning and little need for change helped the Windsor Recreation Center Expansion construction finish under budget with $255,923 left over, according to officials.

Windsor Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture Eric Lucas broke that good news to Windsor town board members in Monday’s work session.

However during construction staff members identified several projects around the recreation center that need additional work. Lucas explained to board members, he hoped to use some of the remaining funds to take care of those projects.

It would cost about $162,000 to address most of the needs identified by staff members, according to information he provided town board members.

Those needs consist of:

» Carpeting the senior room

» Putting electrical outlets in the women’s locker room

» Replacing and upgrading audio and visual equipment in the Evergreen Room

» Purchase an extra pump and swim suit spinner

» Replace the old cabinets in the Evergreen Room

» Replace old wood trim in the main hall

» Get more and improvement signage for exercise areas

Lucas said he would also like to demolish the small climbing wall, improve an emergency access road, reface the partitions in the Evergreen Room and replace the old benches in the locker rooms. However, he didn’t know cost estimates for those items and wanted to get more instruction from town board members on how to proceed.

Windsor Mayor Kristie Melendez said she liked the idea of proceeding with much of what Lucas presented while staff looked at options and prices for the remaining projects.

Mac and Sharon McDowell usually start their day at the Windsor Community Recreation Center.

The two walk a mile-and-a- half on the indoor track and then go into the pool for a bit — both features of a nearly 40,000-foot expansion to the recreation center completed last year.

They started coming to the Windsor Community Recreation Center a few weeks ago.

They'd been members at a fitness club in Water Valley for ages, but after seeing the expanded recreation center at the grand opening and learning the rec center accepted Silver Sneakers — a senior fitness insurance program — the couple decided to switch their morning routine.

"We try (to come here) five times a week, but four is more accurate," he said with a chuckle as his wife nodded her agreement. "We're incredibly blessed to have a facility like this here. It's a heck of a thing for a community this size."

Judging by the numbers of memberships the recreation center sold in the last four months, others think so too.

The recreation center expansion opened Oct. 8. As of Monday morning, the recreation center had 4,109 members from more than 20 communities, said Windsor Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture Eric Lucas. However, most members — about 82 percent — are Windsor residents.

"I'm very pleased," Lucas said. "Ultimately, my internal goal was that we'd get to 4,000 sometime in 2017, and obviously we're already there. A lot of it, now that we've opened, has become word of mouth. … It's great to see how we've been embraced by the community."

In the first month, the expanded facility had 5,673 visits from three-month and annual membership holders. That grew even larger in November and December — 9,094 and 9,044 respectively according to information from Lucas. January had even more members — 13,702 — walking through the recreation center doors. That's 37,513 in total.

In addition to members, the facility averages 169 daily drop-in visits — those who pay for daily passes.

Combining drop-in visitors, punch card users and memberships, the recreation center had 63,276 visits through the end of January.

"It doesn't appear to be slowing down at this point," Lucas said. "Folks who live (here) love to exercise, they love the outdoors and they like to work out."

Officials don't have a study to determine the optimal number of members to maintain services and revenues for the recreation center, he explained to town board members during a work session Monday night.

Lucas said from his experience, an ideal membership count would probably fall somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000.

"But that's purely anecdotal and my own thinking," he said.

Windsor's recreation center already has some issues dealing with the number of people coming to exercise, including crowded classes and people waiting to use equipment, but those are minor issues, Lucas said.

"But again, this is four months," he said. "We haven't seen what the spring, summer or early fall will look like. We kind of know what November, December and January look like. So seeing a whole year will really help us gauge what Windsor's take on the building is."

Ultimately the number of new members and amount of nonmembers paying for single visits will slow down, probably in the summer when those people just go outside or after a few years once the novelty of the facilities wears off, Lucas said.

Almost 30 people churned the water around them as they trudged against the current of the recreation center's lazy river Thursday morning.

The aqua walk group meets twice a week in the aquatic facilities added in the new recreation center expansion.

Since it opened in October, Paula Carlson became a regular in the aqua walk class. When she started attending the class in October she was one of about 15 people. In the months since the class grew significantly and around the whole recreation center more and more people seem to be coming in, she said.

"I love it," Carlson said. "It's growing."