City maintains status quo for Genesis Place fees
Airdrie’s Genesis Place will not be changing its fee structure to accommodate those wanting to only visit one portion of the facility.
City council, which was approached by a resident with a request to look at implementing a reduced rate to use the facility’s walking track, agreed with staff’s recommendation to maintain the one-fee-for multiple-use structure at the facility, March 4.
Greg Lockert, manager of Genesis Place, made the presentation to council saying it would be difficult for the facility to offer multiple fees for using different portions of the facility. He added it would likely cost more in staffing and may lead to difficulty in achieving the facility’s 100 per cent cost recovery target, mandated by council.
“We don’t want to have staff here chasing people around saying ‘you can go here, but not here,’” he said. “That is not why (staff) is here. We are not here to tell you what you can’t do. Our big goal is we want to support an active community.”
Genesis Place offers a one-fee rate for access to all amenities, including the fitness centre, pool, drop-in fitness and aquatic classes, field house, indoor track, gymnasium, steam room and hot tub.
According to Lockert’s report, staff at the facility have received requests to use the track for a discounted rate. Lockert said ensuring customers remained in certain areas would be difficult for staff, as many areas of the facility are connected.
“Genesis Place is a really, really busy place, with somewhere between 2,000 and 3,5000 people coming through the doors every day,” he said.
Lockert’s report included a comparison of fees for recreation centres in similar-sized communities. Genesis Place’s family drop-in fee is $21.75, less than the highest comparable of Calgary’s West Side recreation centre, at $27 and Cardel Place at $26.
Collicut Centre in Red Deer charges $18 for families, and was the lowest of the comparables, while Millenium Place in Sherwood Park was a close second at $20.
“We always try to be about average for what we charge ... we try to be in the middle for what our drop-in fees are,” said Lockert. “We are trying to make 100 per cent cost recovery. We aren’t there yet, but we are getting closer and closer to that.”
None of the centres offer reduced fees for fewer services. However, Okotoks Recreation Centre has an indoor track that can be used free of charge.
Lockert said the halls could be used as a public walking area and a social meeting place.