Woodland Park Aquatic Center prices irk large families


AWAITED BRAND-NEW AQUATIC CENTER IS JUST ABOUT SIX WEEKS AWAY FROM ITS BIG GRAND-OPENING, BUT SOME PEOPLE IN TOWN ARE UPSET ABOUT HOW MUCH IT’S GOING TO COST THEM TO SWIM. NEWS 5’S ZACH THAXTON WENT TO WOODLAND PARK TODAY TO GET SOME ANSWERS ABOUT THE PRICING POLICY — HE JOINS US IN-STUDIO NOW WITH THAT STORY. IT’S MAINLY LARGE FAMILIES THAT ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT THE FEE STRUCTURE, SAYING IT’S SIMPLY GOING TO BE TOO EXPENSIVE TO ENROLL ALL THEIR KIDS. BUT TOWN LEADERS SAY THE PRICES ARE ON PAR WITH OTHER NEARBY CENTERS AND ARE FAIR FOR EVERYONE. “MY WHOLE ENTIRE FAMILY’S BEEN EXCITED ABOUT THIS — WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR IT TO COME IN.” VO#1 THE BRAND-NEW WOODLAND PARK AQUATIC CENTER IS ALMOST FINISHED — GRAND OPENING SET FOR OCTOBER 29TH.WE WEREN’T ALLOWED TO RECORD VIDEO INSIDE, BUT THESE ARE SOME STILL SHOTS TAKEN TODAY OF PROGRESS ON THE MAIN POOL AND THE KIDS’ PLAY PLACE AND LAZY RIVER.WATER GOES IN THE LARGE POOL LATER THIS WEEK.BUT THE COST TO USE THE CENTER IS RUBBING SOME THE WRONG WAY. “FOR OUR FAMILY, IT’S GOING TO COST OVER $2,000 A YEAR FOR THE FAMILY PLAN BECAUSE OF THE SIZE OF OUR FAMILY.HOW MANY DO YOU HAVE? WE HAVE 9 KIDS.” VO#2 FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR, A YEARLY PASS COSTS 888-DOLLARS.FOR A 5TH CHILD, IT’S AN EXTRA 100-DOLLARS.FOR A 6TH KID AND EACH ONE THEREAFTER, IT’S ANOTHER 50-BUCKS APIECE. “NOW THAT IT’S HERE, IT’S JUST NOT ACCESSIBLE FOR FAMILIES.” “IT IS EXPENSIVE.IT IS EXPENSIVE TO BE AN ANNUAL MEMBER AT ANY FACILITY, I WON’T DENY THAT.BUT WHAT WE WILL DO IS WE WILL WORK WITH EVERY INDIVIDUAL AND EVERY FAMILY TO FIND THE VERY BEST PACKAGE, THE VERY BEST RATE THAT MEETS THEIR DESIRES AND NEEDS.” VO#3 THE CITY MANAGER SAYS THEY COMPARED PRICES AT THE MANITOU POOL AND SPRINGS Y-M-C-A WHEN COMING UP WITH THE PRICE PLAN. “IT WAS THE CLOSEST THING THAT WE COULD COMPARE TO, AND WE THINK THAT WE COMPARE EXTREMELY FAVORABLY FOR OUR CITIZENS FOR THE FEE STRUCTURE.” “IT’S HARD TO FIND A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN GO SWIMMING AND UTILIZE THAT TYPE OF FACILITY, SO I STILL THINK IT’S DEFINITELY A FAIR PRICE.” VO#4 ALSO UPSETTING TO SOME — A 20-DOLLAR DISCOUNT FOR CITY STAFF AND ELECTED OFFICIALS. “THE LOGIC THAT I USED FOR ELECTED AND APPOINTED BOARDS, COMMITTEES, AND COMMISSIONS WAS SIMPLY TO SAY THANK YOU FOR THEIR VOLUNTEER SERVICE.” “I THINK THEY SHOULD PAY THE FULL PRICE, AS ANYONE ELSE.” “I THINK IT’S GREAT THAT THEY’RE WILLING TO GIVE PEOPLE DISCOUNTS.” THE WOODLAND PARK AQUATIC CENTER IS FUNDED THROUGH A VOTER- APPROVED BOND ISSUE. THE CITY MANAGER SAYS, BASED ON FEEDBACK FROM SEVERAL LARGE FAMILIES, THE PRICES FOR ADDITIONAL CHILDREN BEYOND THE FIRST TWO HAVE BEEN REDUCED FROM THEIR ORIGINAL PLANS. THE 20-DOLLAR DISCOUNT ON A FAMILY PASS ALSO APPLIES TO MILITARY, FIRST RESPONDERS, AND SCHOOL DISTRICT STAFF AND BOARD

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