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ROGERS -- Parks Department officials withdrew a request Wednesday to raise entry fees to the Aquatics Center.

Director Jim White took the item off the agenda of the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, saying he decided to delay the conversation after his staff assessed the center's income from entry fees.

White initially wanted commissioners to consider either raising resident entry fees to match the nonresident fees or doing an across the board raise.

If rates were increased, the resulting funds would potentially go toward an addition for the center, such as a wave pool or other water feature, said Ally Williams, parks administrative assistant.

Entry is $12 for residents and $15 for nonresidents.

Raising resident fees to match would make a drastic income change since the vast majority of visitors are residents. Nonresident fees account for approximately 8 percent of admissions income, White said. A total of 5 percent of the Aquatics Center entry fee revenue comes from nonresidents.

The center earns roughly $600,000 each year from admissions, $40,000 of which comes from nonresidents, Williams said.

The Aquatics Center has averaged 80,000 visitors in recent years, said Ben Cline, public relations specialist. A total of 82,273 attended in 2017, with 77,201 in 2016 and 79,767 in 2015.

White said the rate raise would also simplify the process for Aquatics Center staff, which is mostly young adults. As it is, staff must request identification to verify residency.

Andrea Brinton, assistant parks director, seemed favorable to a simplified rate structure. Brinton explained the center has had very limited success with promotions, such as this year's half-price Splash Pass.

NW News on 11/16/2017

Print Headline: Officials discuss aquatics center fees

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